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Super cheesy shells and cheese

The new Kroger in Hernando has an awesome cheese bar. You read that right, and it’s no joke.  They have a couple of very nice ladies there always willing to make recommendations, and I jumped at the gruyere they gave us samples of.  But we needed a recipe.  I thought it would be perfect melted on a casserole, and instead decided to try it with other cheeses (it’s pretty overwhelming) in a mac and cheese recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 Box pasta (shells, elbow mac, etc)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ½ cups coarsely grated, sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Swiss-style Gruyere cheese
  • ¼ cup finely grated dry Jack cheese (can use Monterey Jack if you can’t find the dry Jack)
  • ¼ cup smoked gouda
  • 1 cup chopped bacon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Grease a large baking dish.
  3. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water and set aside.
  4. In a small sauce pan or microwave, heat milk until very hot but not scalded.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and stir until cooked, about 1 minute.
  6. Whisk in hot milk, whisking continuously until all milk is incorporated and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, black pepper, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar, all the gruyere, gouda and jack cheese.
  8. Mix well until all the cheese has melted.
  9. Add bacon and stir well.
  10. Add macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour mixture into the casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar.
  12. Bake, uncovered, for 20  minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and casserole is bubbling.
  13. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

Enjoy!

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