This recipe is based upon a legendary batch of gourmet mac and cheese made by the head chef at the Washington State Convention Center back in 2009. It was so good, we begged for the recipe. The wily chef left out his secret ingredient, so I’ve customized the recipe a bit, and think I’ve hit upon just the right combination of flavors.
The quality of the cheese makes all the difference, so use the highest quality you can afford. I buy Tillamook vintage extra, extra sharp white cheddar from Costco, and use a nice parmesan/romano blend, though I’ve used plain ol’ Kraft parmesan before with good results.
This recipe can serve as the base for some cool variations, too. Lobster mac, buffalo chicken mac (topped with blue cheese!), spinach mac… The possibilities are endless!
- 1 pound of elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Boil macaroni according to directions on packaging. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter, then mix in flour, whisking until smooth. Add heavy whipping cream, and whisk until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 2/3 pound of cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is fully melted. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Remove the sauce from heat, and pour over macaroni. Stir the macaroni and the cheese sauce until all noodles are well covered.
- Pour mixture into a greased baking dish (I use a 2-quart round glass pyrex baking dish), and top with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and then panko bread crumbs.
- Bake uncovered until the top browns, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
- calories: 873
- total fat: 55
- carbohydrates: 66
- protein: 28