Macaroni and Cheese- it is a classic iconic family meal that leaves you feeling good. Because this dish is so simple to make I like to splurge on it when I can and use only the best cheeses and lots of it. My homestyle mac and cheese is loaded with flavor thanks to four cheeses along with coarse ground mustard and cracked black pepper. Now I realize there are “certain dishes” that have been designated for white pepper use over black. Mac and cheese has traditionally been one of them but I cant do it. I need my black pepper people! If I am being completely honest there are very few dishes that I choose white pepper over black. I just love the black pepper flavor against the sharp creamy cheddar sauce.
So your probably asking yourself what 4 cheeses make up this dish. My favorite cheese combination is sharp, Monterrey, white cheddar and muenster. Each have their own special flavor and blend so nicely together. The best part of this dish is that you can easily make it a day ahead and cook it the next. Make sure to reserve at least 1/4 cup of the sauce if you do decide to prepare it a day ahead. The sauce can be poured over the mac and cheese midway through cooking to ensure the pasta is tender and creamy.
- 32 ounces of your favorite small pasta (I used shells)
- 5 tbsp. butter, unsalted
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk, warm to the touch
- 3 tsp coarse ground mustard or spicy Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup white wine or you could use cooking white wine or chicken broth
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp cracked black pepper
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 3 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. muenster cheese, shredded
- In the same pot or a large sauté pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about three minutes, until completely smooth and incorporated. Pour in 1 cup of the milk in a thin stream while whisking. It might start out lumpy, but keep whisking and it will smooth out into a thick paste. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the mustard and white wine, stir until combined and then add in the remaining seasonings and then cheeses ( a little cheese at a time) until all cheese is melted. Adjust taste if necessary with more or less salt.
- Add the drained pasta and gently mix. Enjoy it HOT off the stove or pour into greased 9x13 inch pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes (if you prefer baked mac n cheese- but don't forget to top it with more cheese if you bake it-)