Ultimate Mac & Cheese

Recipe found at Chowhound

I’ve been Really Into Mac & Cheese since I can remember. Seriously, I received a bulk package of Velveeta shells for a birthday gift one year- SCORE!

As a kid, I could not STAND baked macaroni & cheese. I remember at a church luncheon I took a HUGE plate of mac & cheese that looked delicious in a blue casserole dish. My Grandma cautioned me to try a little to make sure I liked it. I thought she was nuts. No way was I giving up my chance to load up on mac & cheese to add to my already chubby waistline. Imagine my surprise when I tasted it & found the top to be a bit crunchy; I was horrified. My Grandma was horrified that I took a plate full of food & didn’t eat it all. After that experience, I paid a little more attention to my macaroni & cheese.

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As a grown-up I can appreciate a well executed baked macaroni, so I went on a search that would satisfy my adult & child person & I found it at Chowhound. First thing, I doubled the recipe. We were snowed in, it was cold & I had just made a trip to Costco so our cheese, milk & pasta rations were all stocked up.

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Look at that delicious Tillamook Medium & Sharp Cheddar hiding behind my new favorite pasta, Garofalo.  This recipe was simple. I was pretty sure my kids would not enjoy a Panko topped baked mac & cheese, so I saved half the recipe & let them eat it right off the stovetop. They loved it. It was rich & creamy & “delicious” according to my daughter. The adults felt it could benefit from some crunch, so I went ahead and baked the other half in a 9×13 pan & topped it with more cheese & Panko breadcrumbs.

It was a huge hit! The crunch was not overpowering & the extra time in the oven really changed the texture of the pasta. The double batch was gone within 24 hours. Obviously, we were Really Into it. I think I’ve found the Ultimate Mac & Cheese recipe for my family, but share yours, please. Let me know if there’s another recipe I should try.

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