Zach always wants macaroni and cheese. This past weekend in particular, he told me to make some. I haven’t made this Gouda Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese in over year; apparently, the last time I made it was around Valentine’s day. I say that’s too long for this decadent goodness. Who doesn’t love this childhood cult favorite? You know, the southern side dish that immediately increases waistlines upon impact?
I will tell you this–this macaroni and cheese recipe is a lot more work than its blue box counterpart, but this recipe makes plenty and is so rich. It’s worth it–otherwise, I wouldn’t post it! You’ll get at least ten heaping servings, and I made this only for Zach and me. You guessed it–I’ll be eating macaroni and cheese for the rest of the week. I am certain this is illegal. This is made with butter, heavy cream, milk, and four cheeses (cream cheese, cheddar, smoked gouda, and parmesan.) To me, the smoked gouda comes out the most flavor wise, the cream cheese helps smooth the sauce over, and the cheddar helps round out the gouda. This was made very diet conscious indeed…
This would be great to make for a potluck or for a holiday I am sure between Lent and New Year’s that everyone will be craving something fattening!) I love the topping; the crunchy Panko and the salty Parmesan truly work wonders with the melted butter. I am not always a fan of macaroni and cheese with a topping, but this one does the trick. The flavors here are also more complex through the use of sautéed onions and (optional) bacon. If you don’t use bacon, that’s fine–just make sure you make pulled pork. There’s something about barbecued foods that make this mac and cheese really shine. If you don’t feel like making pulled pork, feel free to go to a reputable barbecue joint by you; Zach and I love Mission BBQ for a chain. Again, if you want to just make the macaroni and cheese by itself, that’s fine too, but the hint of BBQ sauce that seeps through does pull this dish together.
- 1 box of Rotini macaroni, cooked and drained (or any other pasta you want to use, like elbow)
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1½ cup milk
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- ½ lb smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- ½ lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz cream cheese, cubed
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 4-6 slices bacon crumbled *** (optional!)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup bacon crumbled** (optional!)
Jazzercise For Your Thighs!
- Prepare your macaroni according to package directions. Set aside in a large pan (9X13 or larger would work!)
- Do your prep work! Shred all your cheeses (except parmesan and cream cheese). Dice your onion.
- In a large pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Saute chopped onions until translucent and just starting to caramelize.
- Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle in flour. Next, whisk until mixed with butter and onion. Cook on medium heat for one minute. You need to form a roux.
- Combine milk, cream and broth in a large measuring cup and add all at one time to mixture in pan. Whisk over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Mixture will thicken considerably. If it doesn’t thicken, raise the heat a bit until it does so, and then lower it once it bubbles up.
- Add salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Then you should reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cheeses to the pan and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and stir to combine; reduce heat and cook on low for 5 minutes for everything to meld together and get hot. Smooth top.
- Combine panko bread crumbs, melted butter, bacon and Parmesan cheese together and mix well. Sprinkle over the top of the noodle casserole and broil the dish until the top is just starting to brown. Mine broiled in less than five minutes–so make sure you keep your eye on it!
- Devour politely. 😉