This is my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. It is my slight variation on Tyler Florence's recipe. It is a great dish for parties, pot-lucks, and eating at home! The two things that give this macaroni and cheese a leg up on many others is the garlic and thyme-infused milk and the bacon, onion, garlic, and thyme topping.
Thyme sprigs (whole sprigs) and smashed garlic cloves (both will be strained from the milk mixture so there is no need to remove the skins from the cloves or woody twigs from the thyme)
Shells (I sometimes use bowtie pasta. I used 2 lbs. because I was doubling the recipe)
Tons of shredded white and orange cheddar cheese (sharp and extra sharp).
Roux for the cheese sauce (equal parts flour and butter).
Infused milk after being strained and added to roux.
This time I decided to kick things up a notch with a couple splashes of hot chili oil.
Chopped parsley waiting to be added to the pasta and cheese mixture.
Cheese-topped pasta with cheese sauce awaiting the oven.
Bacon, onion, garlic, and thyme topping (to be added to the mac and cheese after it comes out of the oven).