The Best Mac and Cheese Ever
I was having the kind of week where Murphy’s Law was in full effect. Comfort foods were sorely needed, and nothing says “comfort” like mac and cheese. But I needed something more than the usual mac. My go-to recipes are usually Alton Brown’s stovetop version, and his baked version. Both are delicious and classic. But no, this time I needed more. More cheese.
And let me take a moment to mention my thinking with recipes like this. Yes, you can go lower-fat with good results, but it’s not going to satisfy that craving. I believe in going all out, ultra cheesy with the best of everything. Because after all, we’re here for the cheese.
ALSO, if you note below, I’m using a new recipe plugin that enables printing. What do you think? Is it an improvement? Let me know in the comments. I’ll give it a go for a couple of weeks before deciding whether or not to convert over all three years’ worth of recipes to this format.
Four Cheese Mac and Cheese
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||45 minutes|
|Meal type||Main Dish, Side Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Serve Hot|
- 1lb Tube pasta ((elbow macaroni, penne) cooked to 2/3 of the recommended time)
- 3 tablespoons Unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons All purpose flour
- 2 cups Lowfat milk
- 4oz Sharp cheddar (grated)
- 3oz Provolone (grated)
- 7oz Gruyere (grated)
- 3oz Parmegiano reggiano (grated)
- 1/4 teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle powder
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
|Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.|
|Cook and drain the pasta.|
|In a nonstick saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook until it begins to smell nutty. Add mustard and chipotle powders.|
|Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens, approximately 5 minutes.|
|Add 3/4 of the cheese mixture. Whisk until melted. Reserve the remaining cheese mixture for later. Season the cheese sauce with salt, pepper and possibly more chipotle powder, to taste.|
|Toss the sauce with the pasta. Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and panko bread crumbs.|
|Bake until cheese sauce is bubbly. If the pasta starts to brown on the edges, cover with foil.|
|Rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.|
“Oooooh! Oh! This is pretty good! It’s cheesy, but not stringy-cheesy,” declared the Tiny Kitchen Assistant. “I like it. It’s really… well, it’s good. Really good. Can you make more tomorrow?”
The Husband gave it a thumbs up and took the leftovers to work. Bingo.