It’s time for dinner and not just any dinner. The ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese. Mac and Cheese holds so many deep connections for people. Memories from childhood or family get togethers. A side at the holidays or just a plain old blue box of mac and cheese can do the trick some days. There is just something about a warm bowl of creamy, cheesy noodles that makes for a perfect moment.
Most people think the star of the show in Mac and Cheese is the cheese…but where would the cheese be without the dairy. Dairy brings up the creaminess factor that makes it such a comfort food. But dairy doesn’t just enhance a classic mac and cheese, dairy can turn any kind of pasta dish into a rich and creamy masterpiece. A lot of creamy sauces start with a basic roux which is simply butter, flour, and milk (or heavy cream). From there you can add all kinds of ingredients and flavors to make it an over the top creamy sauce. Or simply add heavy cream to an existing sauce to give it a rich and creamy flavor. I love adding a bit of heavy cream to a spaghetti sauce to add some depth. .
My Grandma made an incredible Mac and Cheese with butter, heavy cream, and good old Velveeta. The recipe has major memories for me and I still make it all the time. For this week’s spotlight recipe, I took my Grandma’s Mac and Cheese recipe but enhanced it with a couple different cheeses and, of course, heavy cream.
Check out the video and recipe below for this Ultimate Creamy Mac and Cheese.
Mac and Cheese, but make it ultra cheesy, creamy, rich, tangy, with a little bit of buttery crunch.
½ cup Hiland Dairy Butter (1 stick)
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups Hiland Dairy Whole Milk
12 ounces large elbow noodles
2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
½ cup (1 stick) Hiland Dairy Butter, melted
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot with salted water, boil the elbow noodles until al dente. (about 6 minutes) Drain pasta, and set aside.
In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium heat, add the Hiland butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk together. Whisk consistently for about 2 minutes then add the Hiland Dairy whole milk 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Continue to whisk for another 3 minutes.
Add the Sharp cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese and stir into the mixture until all is melted and combined.
Add the elbow noodles into the creamy cheesy sauce and gently stir all together until the noodles are covered with the sauce.
In a separate small bowl, mix the melted Hiland butter with the panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the mac and cheese then place the pot into the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes just until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and serve!