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Everyone knows mac and cheese is the star of side dishes, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving. This mac and cheese recipe makes the thickest, creamiest mac and cheese. The giant cheese pull will have everyone at the dinner table drooling. Not only is mac and cheese an excellent side dish, but it can also be eaten as a comfort meal after a long day. Eating a cozy bowl of mac and cheese will give you all the nostalgia you need to forget your worries.
This recipe was created after I lost my original recipe that was shared with me by a friend years ago. I was inspired to add crème Fraiche in addition to the mixed cheeses. The crème Fraiche makes this mac and cheese richer and gives it a tangy flavor. It is a signature dish I would make every new year for my friends, and they love it so much that one year I got a call at one in the morning, and they were all singing and thanking me. I guess it was so delicious they couldn’t wait till the morning, haha, or maybe they were drinking. Either way, I hope you will try this delicious recipe and share it with your friends and family so that they can enjoy it too!
What Cheese Should I Use?
You can make a roux using whatever cheese you like, but I like to use a classic mix of white cheddar and Gruyere. When buying cheese, it is important to get cheese that is still in a block and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has preservatives, making it not melt as easily when cooked. You will want your cheese to melt as much as possible so that you can get that gooey cheesy goodness. I like to use the Cuisinart shredder attachment to shred the cheese. It makes the process really quick and easy.
How to Make a Roux?
You can make an easy roux by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in your flour and seasoning. The roux will thicken your cheese sauce and make the texture even and creamy. I add pancetta and shallots to the roux to give it more flavor.
How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese?
Since all the ingredients are already cooked, you just need to bake it to get all the ingredients to melt together. I find that 30 minutes of baking is the perfect amount of time. It is not too long, so the macaroni gets soggy. It is just long enough so that all the flavor and cheese can infuse with one another.
Can you Freeze it?
Yes, this dish freezes really well! You can either assemble it and then freeze it in the baking tray or freeze the leftovers for later. It can be frozen either before or after baking. It is just up to your personal preference. If it has already been baked, freeze the individual portions in a freezer-safe bag and then wrap it in foil.
What to do With Leftover Mac and Cheese?
If you have leftover mac and cheese, you can make mac and cheese bites by forming the mac and cheese into balls and coating them in bread crumbs. Then you can either fry or air-fry the balls for a crispy snack.
How to Reheat Without it Being Dry?
The best way to reheat mac and cheese without it being dry is to add just a touch of milk. A creamy cup of milk will rejuvenate the mac and cheese, making it as smooth and creamy as the day you made it.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter a rectangle pan 13 by 9 baking dish.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and occasionally stir until tender but firm. Make sure they are not overcooked, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
In the meantime, melt the one tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large skillet; add the pancetta and the shallots; cook for 3 minutes; whisk in the flour until light golden color, about 5 minutes.
Cool on low heat until the cheese is melted, and the sauce thickens. In about 5 minutes, season with salt, pepper, and chili stir. Pour over the macaroni.
Make the bread crumb topping by mixing the melted butter with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, spoon all over the macaroni and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Enjoy!
|1 lb. Elbow pasta or any of your favorite|
|1 package cream Fraiche (7.5 oz)|
|2 cups gruyere cheese (12 oz)|
|2 cups white cheddar cheese (12 oz shredded)|
|¼ cup parmesan cheese (4 oz shredded)|
|4 oz pancetta|
|1 shallot (diced)|
|4 cups milk|
|2 teaspoons Salt|
|½ teaspoon white pepper|
|¼ teaspoon Chili powder|
|¼ cup flour|
|1 tablespoon butter|
|1 cup bread crumb|
|4 tablespoons butter|
|¼ cup grated parmesan cheese|
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