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