Sunny Anderson's Spicy Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is dolled up in a creamy sauce with a touch of spice and a crisp, crunchy topping.

By Kate Sonders

From our feature Sunny Anderson's Secret Ingredient.

Ingredients:
2 cups raw elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
16 ounces Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
8 ounces Monterey pepper-jack cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
4 slices bread
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss together pasta with the cheese cubes and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.

2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg, sour cream, egg, heavy cream, and half-and-half. Pour over the pasta and cover with shredded Cheddar.

3. Bake uncovered until top is just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-size squares. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add cubes and toast until golden. Sprinkle the bread cubes on top of the macaroni and cheese and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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