I never thought when I started this blog, I would ever have a Mac and Cheese recipe on it. I didn’t grow up on Mac and Cheese, like most kids. Now that I have children of my own, I’ve learned to accept Mac and Cheese as an occasional part of their diet. The good thing about Mac and Cheese, is that it makes great leftovers, and with the kids back in school this week, I needed to have that option. The bad thing about Mac and Cheese, is that it’s full of saturated fat, but hey, who’s counting, after all it’s comfort food. Why is it that most comfort food tends to be high in fat and calories? There must be a biological reason for that.
I made Mac and Cheese three different ways before I decided on the recipe that was worthy blogging about. I’ve found that when making M & C, the type of cheese used is very important. The first time I made it, I used a British white Cheddar, which gave it a lingering aftertaste. I used 3 types of cheese for this recipe, Gruyere, mild yellow Cheddar, and a little Parmesan, for bite. The best breadcrumbs to use are definitely Panko crumbs. I’ve tried regular bread crumbs but the Panko breadcrumbs create a nice crunchy topping.
Butter a baking dish and set aside.
Boil pasta to al dente, drain and set aside.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to a heavy bottomed pot. Melt the butter.
Add 1/4 cup of flour (which is the same as 4 tablespoons).
Whisk melted butter and flour constantly, making a roux. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
Slowly add milk to roux, whisking constantly.
Slowly add all 3 cups of milk, until nice and creamy, without any lumps.
I used 3 types of cheese, Gruyere, mild Cheddar and Parmesan.
Season with pepper and paprika.
Now start adding the shredded cheeses. 2 cups Cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Whisk cheeses in. Once the cheeses are completely melted and the sauce is nice and smooth………
Place the pasta in the buttered baking dish and pour the cheese sauce in. I used fusilli pasta, but you can use the traditional elbow macaroni, or penne. Make sure to use a good quality pasta. There are some brands out there that turn to mush very easily.
Make sure that all the pasta is well covered with cheese sauce.
Sprinkle the top with some of the shredded cheese, and Panko breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve.
Crunchy on the outside, cheesy and creamy on the inside. Enjoy and don’t eat too much!
1 package pasta, either fusilli, elbow macaroni or penne.
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups low fat or whole milk.
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
A pinch of Paprika
Pepper to taste
Butter a large baking dish and set aside. Cook pasta to al dente, drain and set aside. Shred 2 cups of Cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere, and grate 1/2 cup Parmesan. Set aside for later.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to a heavy bottomed pot. Melt butter. Once melted, add 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Whisk melted butter and flour together, making a roux. Cook 3 – 4 minutes, making sure not to scorch. Slowly add 3 cups of milk to the roux, stirring constantly, making sure there are no lumps. Season with pepper and paprika. Start adding the shredded cheeses, whisking till all the cheese has melted and is well incorporated into the sauce. Take the pasta that you set aside, and place in the buttered baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, mixing well. Sprinkle the top with some of the shredded cheese and Panko crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, serve and enjoy!