Nothing screams comfort food like really good, easy to make homemade Mac & Cheese. It used to be just a southern classic and now fine dining restaurants everywhere are serving up the most spectacular versions of this easy to make dish. You may see something like, Lobster Mac with Black Truffles at a white table cloth restaurant, proving that it is in fact, in vogue.
Chefs all over the country and worldwide seem to have their own signature Mac & Cheese, and with good merit, no matter what status you have achieved in life chances are, you probably love a well made Mac & Cheese. Nothing can compare to perfectly cooked pasta, smothered with a tangy and smooth cheese sauce, scattered with crispy bread crumbs and baked until golden and gooey.
Mac & Cheese, however doesn’t need to be baked, it can be served as soon as the pasta is coated with the chef’s flavoring of cheese sauce and a fresh grind of black pepper. A personal favorite and very underground method is to allow the baked Mac & Cheese to cool completely in the refrigerator, cut it into squares, bread it with flour, egg and Panko bread crumbs and deep fry it…pure heaven!
No matter which technique you plan to use in making this Mac & Cheese recipe you are in for a big treat and more than likely will make it again and again; feel free to personalize it any way you want so you can have your own signature Mac & Cheese.
Peace and Bacon Grease!
Smoked Gouda & Havarti Mac & Cheese w/ Cooked Ham
Serves 6 to 8 as an Side Item
1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Flour-all purpose
2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Pound Shell Pasta
8 Ounces Smoked Gouda-shredded
8 Ounces Havarti-shredded
1/2 Pound Cooked Ham-deli style, sliced ½” thick and cubed
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
To Make the Mac & Cheese:
Cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions in salted boiling water, drain and run cold water over to completely cool, drain pasta of any excess water.
Melt butter over medium heat in a non stick stock pot, add the flour and stir to combine. Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper raise heat to medium high heat, stir frequently. When cream begins to thicken add the cheeses, pasta and cubed ham then gently fold together until pasta is coated.
In a large buttered casserole add the pasta and cheese mixture, top with bread crumbs and few grinds of black pepper. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.