Who doesn't love mac and cheese? My husband's favorite cheese is gouda, and when my grocery store started carrying it shredded, I knew I had to adapt it. This was another birthday dish. This mac and cheese is very rich, very creamy, and the bread crumbs are so delicious. The ground mustard adds to the sharpness of the cheese; it doesn't taste like mustard noticeably.
The original recipe calls for chicken broth, but I take issue with any vegetarian type recipe that adds meat surreptitiously, so I left it out. You won't miss it, but it would be a good way to cut the fat if you want. This is definitely a make ahead meal, but is very flexible to finishing in the oven on a pinch.
Gouda Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Yield: 8-10 servings
For the bread crumb topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and pepper
For the pasta:
1 lb. pasta shapes (I like conchigliate)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
5 3/4 cups milk
1 lb. gouda cheese, shredded
8 oz.cheddar & monterey jack cheese, shredded
Ground black pepper
To make the bread crumb topping, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are a light golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, then run under cold water, and leave in the colander.
Return the pot to the heat. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne, cooking just until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheeses, whisking until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce.
Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. (place in fridge for later at this point if desired) Bake 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
If refrigerated- bake covered at 400˚ F until the filling is hot throughout, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the breadcrumbs are crisp, 15-20 minutes more.