Monday, April 8, 2013

Five Cheese Mac & Cheese

One of my friends has been raving about macaroni and cheese that is served at a local watering hole in Raleigh, North Carolina. She goes there just for the macaroni and cheese. All I know about it is that it's made with four cheeses. She has asked for the recipe, but they're not sharing. So when she came to visit recently, I made five cheese macaroni and cheese.

I didn't get it quite right. Not surprising when one considers the vast numbers of cheese available. Each one brings it's own distinctive taste to mac and cheese. When she tasted mine, she shared that the one she likes so much has ham in it. Aha. That would change the flavor. But, she said, that wasn't what she likes so much. It's supposedly very creamy. She thought that might be from sour cream. However, she liked my creation and especially liked that it wasn't as rich. I did use a triple cream cheese for some added creaminess, and I think that worked very nicely. The shredded cheeses together totaled about 2 1/2 cups of cheese.


When I was shopping for the cheese, I couldn't find plain old elbow pasta in the store. All kinds of fancy pasta, but no elbows. I finally went with Ancient Harvest's quinoa and corn blend elbow pasta. It happens to be gluten free. My tasters absolutely could not tell that it wasn't regular pasta. And believe me, they are picky about such things!


Krista's Five Cheese Mac & Cheese


8 ounces elbow pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (nonfat is okay)

.30 pound triple cream cheese (like Prince la Fontaine)
3/4 cup Comte
3/4 cup medium cheddar
3/4 cup goat Gouda
1/4 cup Apple smoked cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the triple cream cheese and shred the other cheeses.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic. Cook briefly until fragrant. Stir in the flour and add the milk. Stirring constantly, cook until thick and bubbly. Reduce the heat and add all cheeses except Parmesan. Cook and stir until the cheeses have melted. Remove from heat and add cooked pasta.


Pour into a 1 1/2 or 2 quart casserole. Top with Panko bread crumbs, then top with Parmesan.


Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.


16 comments:

  1. Hmm...I lived in Raleigh when I was first married, but I don't remember macaronia and cheese. But then, we had no money, so a trip to Burger King was a big deal.

    My biggest problem with mac and cheese is that I can never get the balance of sauce and pasta right. It looks good at the moment I cook it, but then the pasta soaks up the liquid and I get a dry pasty mess (and it gets worse if there are leftovers). How do you keep it creamy? Does the kind of cheese make a difference? I've never heard of using cream cheese, but it's worth a try, right?

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    1. When I say triple cream cheese, don't think about the yummy stuff that comes in a block. Triple cream cheese is very high is butterfat, so very rich and creamy, which was why I included it. I'm sure the kinds of cheese make a difference, most certainly to the flavor. It's hard to imagine that's the source of your problem, though. Oh! Are you cooking it *after* you add the pasta? Otherwise I'm can't imagine why the pasta would soak up liquid.

      ~Krista

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    1. You should have been here eating it with us, Dru!

      ~Krista

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  3. Wow yummy food in here. Krista's Five Cheese Mac & Cheese looks so tasty. I like to try make in this weekend. I think my sons and husband are like this.

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    1. I hope you'll all enjoy it!

      ~Krista

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  4. Looks heavenly, and I love your combo of cheeses. A comfort food Keeper, Krista!

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    1. I fear I'll be making it again and again! But we all need comfort food sometimes, right?

      ~Krista

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  5. Krista, I adore mac and cheese. I shared my own version a year or so ago - it was referenced in Long Quiche...and do you know Molly Weston found it via Google??? She shared it with all her friends. There's just something about the creaminess of mac 'n cheese that can't be beat. So be prepared to go viral with this recipe! LOL

    PS Anyone who wants to compare recipes can click this link. I use 5 cheeses and milk and wine in my recipe: <a href="http://www.averyaames.com/five_cheese_mac_tlqg.html</a>

    Hugs to all and say cheese!

    Daryl aka Avery

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    1. if that link didn't work, try copying and pasting this: http://www.averyaames.com/five_cheese_mac_tlqg.html

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    2. Oooh, wine! That elevates it to gourmet, doesn't it? No longer lowly comfort food, how chic! : )

      ~Krista

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  6. Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Looking forward to trying this. I just bought panko today and I have two mason jars of elbow macaroni just screaming 'help us!'

    Thanks, Krista.

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    1. It would be unkind not to eat the poor elbow macaroni. I'm sure it would be very happy to be paired with a luscious triple cream cheese!

      ~Krista

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  7. Oh my gosh, should not have read this when starving!! I am a big sucker for Mac cheese--must try this!

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    1. LOL! I know that feeling. It's the worst when someone has posted something wonderful but the fridge is running on empty!

      ~Krista

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  8. I also like macaroni and cheese very much. Because I think it is most suitable food for me. I like to try this.

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