SMOKY WHITE CHEDDAR MAC AND CHEESE

SMOKY WHITE CHEDDAR MAC AND CHEESE — Elbow macaroni is baked in a creamy smoked cheddar and Fontina cheese sauce with fresh thyme, then baked until hot and bubbly in this gourmet-style macaroni and cheese.


This decadent pasta dish is loaded with four kinds of cheese and a hint of nutmeg and thyme. I wish I could say it was healthy and low-calorie, but it’s definitely worth the indulgence!

The smoked cheddar might be a bit strong for some tastes, especially kids, so feel free to use more of the regular white cheddar if you prefer.

But don’t skip the fresh thyme! It’s the perfect accompaniment to the slightly smoky flavor of the cheese sauce. The flavors in this mac and cheese are pretty much perfect.

SMOKY WHITE CHEDDAR MAC AND CHEESE
Elbow macaroni is baked in a creamy smoked cheddar and Fontina cheese sauce with fresh thyme, then baked until hot and bubbly in this gourmet-style macaroni and cheese.

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart (4 cups) half and half
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces Fontina cheese, grated and divided
  • 6 ounces white American cheese, grated or cubed
  • 2 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; rinse with cool water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Gradually whisk in half and half and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in heavy cream, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, onion powder, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Pour pasta into a large bowl. Add half of the Fontina cheese, the white American cheese and the smoked cheddar. Toss to mix well.
  6. Stir the sauce into the pasta and cheese.
  7. Pour the pasta into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with remaining Fontina cheese.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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