As a kid Kraft macaroni and cheese was one of my favorite foods to eat. There was something about that blue box with the creamy texture not to mention cheesy flavor it had that always had me begging my father to make more. As I grew older I faded away from macaroni and cheese. I started eating more food and beginning to learn how to cook and opened my taste buds up to other cuisines. Ive always loved cheese and thought that people who didn’t care for cheese were weird, unless they were lactose intolerant.
I was at a friends house one evening having what you could call a girls night. Sex and the city, lots of wine, and good home cooked food with just me and my two lady friends. Sitting on the breakfast bar attached to the kitchen was a cheese board one of the girls had assembled to go with our wine to snack on while calmly waiting for our dinner to finish. I bit into a cheese Id never had before. This hard cheese with an edible brown rind and yellow interior blew me a way, I was instantly hooked. I began buying Gouda even though it was expensive and started coming up with recipes to use this cheese in. I decided one day to test it out in the form of a cheese sauce to make home made macaroni and cheese. That was the best idea I’ve ever had.
I make smoked Gouda mac and cheese at least 3 times a year. Its easy to make and has exceptional flavor. If you are usually an out of the box or frozen macaroni and cheese individual you should step out of your convenience bubble and give this recipe a shot.
You will need:
-4 Oz Smoked Gouda, grated fine on a micro plane (not box grater)
-2 Ea Slices American cheese
-4 Ea Slices bacon, cooked, rough chop
-1 Ea large yellow onion, brunoise
-1/2 Box of pasta noodles of your choice, for this recipe I used Penne, cooked al dente
-3 Ea garlic cloves, minced
-3/4 C Heavy cream
-1 C whole milk
-TT Salt and pepper
-4 Ea sweet peppers cut in rings
-1/2 C breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
-1/2 T Paprika
– TT Hot sauce (optional)
-Cook bacon until crisp and set on a paper towel to catch grease. In the same pan on medium heat sauté garlic in leftover bacon fat for 1 minute then add in vegetables and sauté until translucent about 2 minutes. Set aside when done.
-In a sauce pot over medium high heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer.
-Begin slowly adding the Gouda one small handful at a time to keep it from clumping while stirring constantly.
-Add in American cheese one slice at a time still stirring until melted.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Add in vegetables and stir until combined.
-Add in pasta.
-Garnish with bacon, breadcrumbs, and hot sauce.