Cowgirl Creamery Mac and Cheese
Amanda Parker
Yields 4 Servings
AuthorAmanda Parker

This version is creamy and simple, so the flavor of your cheese comes through. Choose a good sharp Cheddar as a base; you need 16 oz of cheese plus the Parmesan. You can use all Cheddar or a combination of half Cheddar and half ends and bits. Some folks add parsley or other herbs before baking (as shown in photo). We like to make it without herbs.

How to Make It

1

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and butter a 3-quart baking dish. Set a large pot of unsalted water over high heat.

2

While the water heats, melt the butter in a large saucepan. When the butter has finished foaming, stir in the flour, whisking until the flour takes on a little color, about 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the milk slowly, while whisking continuously. Return the pan to medium heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken (about 5 minutes) and then take the pan off the heat again; stir in the cream, mustard, and three-fourths of the cheese. Stir in the salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the hot sauce. Set the sauce aside.

3

Cook the pasta just until al dente. Drain (don’t rinse) and quickly stir the pasta into the cheese sauce, then pour into the prepared pan, scraping all the cheese sauce into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the pasta. Sprinkle the panko over the cheese, and sprinkle the Parmesan on top of that.

4

Bake until the mixture is bubbling on the edges and showing some golden brown color on top, 25 to 35 minutes. Let the dish cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Ingredients

 2 tbsp unsalted butter
 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
 2 ½ cups whole milk
 ¾ cup heavy cream
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1 lb grating cheese
 ¼ tsp sea salt
 freshly ground black pepper
 ¼ tsp hot sauce
 12 oz pasta (elbow or corkscrew)
 1 ½ cups panko or fresh bread crumbs
 3 tbsp grated Parmesan or other cheese

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven, and butter a 3-quart baking dish. Set a large pot of unsalted water over high heat.

2

While the water heats, melt the butter in a large saucepan. When the butter has finished foaming, stir in the flour, whisking until the flour takes on a little color, about 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the milk slowly, while whisking continuously. Return the pan to medium heat. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken (about 5 minutes) and then take the pan off the heat again; stir in the cream, mustard, and three-fourths of the cheese. Stir in the salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the hot sauce. Set the sauce aside.

3

Cook the pasta just until al dente. Drain (don’t rinse) and quickly stir the pasta into the cheese sauce, then pour into the prepared pan, scraping all the cheese sauce into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the pasta. Sprinkle the panko over the cheese, and sprinkle the Parmesan on top of that.

4

Bake until the mixture is bubbling on the edges and showing some golden brown color on top, 25 to 35 minutes. Let the dish cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Classic Mac and Cheese