Sunday, March 21, 2010

Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

If you thought Mac & Cheese was made by Kraft and came in a box, we hope by now you've realized that Mac and Cheese is SOOOO much more. In fact, after a little research into how to create the BEST mac and cheese we found that the secret is to combine Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan cheese.

But which Cheddar...which Swiss? There are so many to choose from! When it comes Parmesan, Reggiano is the clear winner. But to help us decide on the Swiss and Cheddar we took a trip to the cheese counter at Whole Foods and shared with the nice "cheese" gentlemen our dream of creating a Gold Medal Mac and Cheese. They were MORE than happy to let us sample the cheeses, which allowed us to choose with our taste buds how sharp we wanted our Cheddar to be and how deep of a flavor our Swiss would possess.

Below are the cheeses that were chosen to create our self-awarded Gold medal Mac & Cheese. Use what we did or taste-test for your own's as much fun as eating the end product!

Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

4 Cups Dried Penne Pasta
4 Tablespoons Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2-½ Cups Whole Milk
2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard
8 Ounces Cheddar Murray Bridge Australian Cheese, grated
4 Ounces Swiss Emmenthaler Cheese, grated
4 Ounces Parmesano-Reggiano Cheese, grated
½ Teaspoon Salt or more
½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Cook pasta until very firm. Pasta should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salt and pepper.

Pour in drained, cooked pasta and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

(We used the Parmesan on top with an additional sprinkling of bread crumbs...just for fun!)

One bite of this and you'll be saying, "Kraft who?!?!"


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