Tweaker alert. I used the basic recipe but changed the seasonings due to my "NON-Gourmet" children who will never eat Thyme flavored anything. The sauce recipe works fantastic & I was quite proud of myself for pulling this off. You should not leave the stove during the sauce whisking portion. The reviews talked a lot about sauce vs. pasta amounts. My men like sauce. I used a 16 oz large elbow macaroni package. I "sort of" doubled the sauce. It was perfect. I am writing this up because I use other people's suggestions all the time. Hope this helps someone! I used: 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1 T. Chili Powder (think chili), 1/4 + teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes, 5 cups of 2% milk, 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 3 tsp. Kosher Salt, 5 good handfuls of already grated Cheddar/Jack Mix (Costco), 1 good squirt of Dijon. Followed the sequence of directions, but changed the seasoning & amounts. For the crust - I discovered I DID NOT have the Panko Break Crumbs I thought I had. I used 2 T. Butter with 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs + 1/4 c. Crunchy Onions (think green bean casserole), mixed well, sprinkled on top & baked in a 10 X 15 - greased. Wonderful - my men ate 1/2 of the tray last night & I am sure the rest will be gone today! Thanks Chef John for the basic recipe!
Update: I still do what I wrote in my original "tweak" of this recipe, but if this is for an adult buffet, I have added jarred Jalapeno slices at the very last stage of putting it in the pan. It gets rave reviews!
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Tweaker alert. I used the basic recipe but changed the seasonings due to my "NON-Gourmet"...