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February 13, 2010

White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Have you had the Macaroni & Cheese from Panera Bread yet?  If not, I suggest you get it next time you're there.  It is so creamy and has a bit of tang to it.  It's made with shell pasta, butter, cream and Vermont White Cheddar (with a bit of American cheese).  Delicious and indulgent. 

I make a lot of mac & cheese, always trying to find the perfect balance between creamy, cheesy, flavorful and something with integrity (i.e. not velveeta, though that's still delicious!).  So far this is definitely my favorite recipe.  I actually prefer stove-top mac & cheese but if you like baked you could definitely adapt this recipe to suit your tastes.

White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese
Source: Telly's Tasty Tidbits original
Ingredients:
1 lb. shell or elbow pasta
1-1/2 c. cream
1-1/2 c. 1% milk
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
8 oz. Vermont White Cheddar, grated
2 oz. American Cheese, grated
S&P to taste
Pinch of Cayanne Pepper if desired

Directions:
- prepare pasta according to packaging
- melt butter in medium sauce pan, whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the flour taste
- Slowly add cream and milk, stiring constantly with the whisk.  Bring mixture to low boil and then simmer on low for a few minutes to allow to thicken
- add cheese
- Add pasta to cheese mixture, plate and serve warm

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