This week, I’d like to share a recipe Dustin actually created.
I know I am the one with the food blog and personal chef experience, but Dustin is actually the one who used to do all the cooking in our home. I used to happily take the sous chef role while he prepared things Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Spaghetti, Steaks and Garlic Bread.
Then, somewhere along the way, I realized ways I could improve the recipes he had learned from his dad. I started researching recipes and techniques and trying to make all the pieces from scratch.
Slowly, but surely, I took over the main cooking role in our family.
But Dustin still loves to cook very much and has, in one way or another, helped with almost each and every recipe I’ve ever done.
Even if that meant being my guinea pig taster. Wow, that doesn’t sound good! You all got that, right? He was my recipe taster…I didn’t actually feed him guinea pigs.
Anyways, Dustin and I have been cooking together a lot lately and really enjoying it. While he will always be The Griller, he has pretty much perfected his Baked Mac and Cheese recipe. Like seriously perfected. Like yum.
While preparing this recipe the other day, it was fun to let him dictate the ingredients this time while I wrote them down and took pictures.
Nice change of pace.
I hope you enjoy this yummy Mac n Cheese. It’s a definite household favorite for us.
Baked Mac n Cheese
1 lb. package penne noodles (can also use macaroni or shells)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (plus more to grease baking dish)
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated and divided
2 cups jack cheese, grated and divided
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or Half and Half)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a medium-sized casserole/baking dish with softened butter and set aside (I use a 9x9x2 dish).
Cook noodles according to package instructions, in salted water. When al dente (still firm, but mostly cooked), remove and drain. Make sure to not completely cook through, as they will continue to cook when baked.
In a medium-large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, slowly sprinkle in flour and stir to combine. Mix in the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Slowly add the milk and cream into the mixture, stirring constantly. Bring mixture almost to a boil, then reduce to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
Sprinkle in 3 cups of the cheddar and 1 cup of the jack, stirring well to melt. Cook an additional 4-6 minutes. Season to taste and remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl or in the pot used to cook the noodles, mix the noodles with the cheese sauce. Add mixture to the greased baking dish.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the dish until well covered.
Bake 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly and golden brown.
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