Monday, December 9, 2013

Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

I feel like I make macaroni and cheese a lot.  Truthfully, I don't.  But I get so excited when I do, that is a big deal I remember.  Usually it is a special occasion of some sort.  I could eat mac 'n' cheese many times a week, but to save my weight/overall health, I try to refrain from that.  This version is a simple, classic crowd-pleaser that I made the day after Thanksgiving for my mom's side of the family.  It was quickly devoured, and they asked for this recipe (and bugged me about not keeping up with this thing better.)  So here you go, guys!

Three Cheese Mac & Cheese
1 lb pasta (large elbow, large shell, or penne are probably the best shapes)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3/4 C milk (I used 2%)
1/2 C half & half
1 C shredded smoked gouda (1 Tbsp reserved)
1 C shredded sharp cheddar (1 Tbsp reserved)
1/2 C shredded Monterrey jack (1 Tbsp reserved)
1/3 C panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

   In liberally salted water, cook pasta about 1 minute shy of being done.  Drain, set aside.
   Melt butter in a sauce pot.  Add flour, stir so there are no lumps.  Slowly whisk in milk and half & half, making sure no lumps form.  Bring to a simmer, let cook about 3 minutes until it starts to thicken.  Remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper.
   Combine cheeses, pasta, and milk mixture.  Pour into a greased 13x9 baking dish.
   Combine panko crumbs, reserved cheeses and olive oil.  Sprinkle over the pasta.
   Bake covered at 350 deg F for 20 minutes.  Uncover, bake another 15 minutes
   Serves 6-8

Note:  Using high quality cheese is a good idea here.  I used Boar's Head smoked gouda and Vermont sharp cheddar.  The Monterrey Jack is almost a filler to give it gooey meltiness without masking the flavors of the other cheese so store brand is fine.  And if you add a little extra cheese, I'm sure no one will complain.  I'm fairly certain my cups of cheese were heaping cups.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feedback makes me happy!