by Mike Bradley
It’s officially fall, and to me that means it’s time for comfort food. What is more comforting than a nice hearty bowl of Mac & Cheese?
If you’re going to separate your macaroni and cheese from the bunch you have to go bold with flavors. That being said, you’re probably wondering why I’d only use cheddar in my recipe. Cheddar comes in many flavors and the bold flavor of this recipe comes in the form of smoked cheddar, two different white cheddars, and an extra sharp cheddar. Smoked cheddar is a very strong flavor, so some caution is warned when making up your cheese sauce, since I say that no exact mixture of these cheeses is best. It can be tailored to meet your own taste if you wish. But of course I’ll leave you with my suggested mixture.
To start any Mac & Cheese recipe you need some form of macaroni. This recipe works with just about any pasta you can imagine. I typically use elbow macaroni or cellentoni, but plenty of others would also work. The other – and most important – element is the cheese sauce. I start with three blocks of different cheddars and grate them, which can take some time but is worth it for the high quality cheese you can get. I like Adams’ Reserve cheeses but you can pick your favorites. These three are combined with the fourth cheese – white cheddar powdered cheese by McCormick.
This recipe is intended for one box of macaroni and can generally be doubled for two if you need to. The only thing that’s unnecessary to double is the butter. Keep that to one stick either way. Enjoy!
Four Cheddar Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 1 box of elbow macaroni or Cellentoni
- 1/2 cup powdered white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Cook your macaroni in boiling water, as per instructions on the box.
- While the pasta cooks, make the cheese sauce. Start with one stick of unsalted butter and about 2 cups of milk in a large saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the butter has completely melted into the milk.
- Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to nearly a boil and begin adding the grated cheeses slowly in any order. Once all grated cheese has been thoroughly melted into the sauce, you can slowly add the powdered cheese, whisking vigorously as you add it to prevent clumping.
- Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes so everything combines fully. Meanwhile, get your freshly cooked macaroni strained and then poured into a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all of it plus the sauce.
- Add the sauce to the macaroni and stir to thoroughly coat all of it. Serve and enjoy!
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