Homemade mac and cheese right from heaven. Cheesy, creamy with a crispy panko crust top is sure to satisfy any craving. Pure comfort food.
Mac and cheese is one of “those” recipes It seems a recipe is a total family hit or a bust, but hey, it’s cheesy with pasta so we’ll eat it with the goodness it offers!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Get a large pot of water boiling and boil 16 oz. elbow noodles one minute shy of being fully cooked. (As directed on the box) You’ll want your noodles done. Heat, drain, and place in your large metal mixing bowl. Mist or drizzle a bit of olive oil onto noodles (to resist sticking while you prepare your cheese sauce). Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl mix your cheeses. In this recipe we use 4 Cups of sharp cheddar, 2 Cups of Gruyere, and 1/4 Cup of Burnett Dairy Swiss Cheese and 1/4 Cup of American cheese. Shred your cheeses into bowl to be prepared to add them to your pan. Toss the cheeses together quickly. Set aside.
Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter in a extra large cast iron pan OR in you large sauce pot ( a stock pot will work too.) As it melts create your rue by adding 1/3 Cup of flour sprinkled over your butter. Be sure to stir as the flour will want to stick and easily burns. After about 1 minute you should have a light golden brown, slightly bubbly rue.
Slowly add 3 Cups of milk (we use whole) to your rue, by adding on at a time it helps to blend in better with the rue. After adding your milk totaling 3 cups, gently add 1 Cup of heavy whipping cream. Be sure to stir/ whisk out any lumps and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Continue to stir for a couple minutes as you add in a few handfuls of cheese to help the melting start. After about 2/3 of the cheese or if you want to measure- approximately 4 cups. As the cheese melts and your base begins to become creamy and smooth, remove from heat. Pour your sauce into your noodle bowl. Mix.
In your greased baking pan, pour half of the noddle mixture and top with the remainder of the cheese. Top again with the remainder of the noodle/ sauce mixture. Let rest.
In a small bowl melt 3 Tbl of butter, add 1/2 Cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 &1/2 Cups of Panko crumbs. Seasonings here would be optional. Mix and top your dish. (Paprika sprinkled on top is traditional, but smoked paprika is a bit of flavor burst that tops of this dish sensationally.)
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!
Happy Homemaking! Happy Baking!