I am a big fan of cheese.
Oftentimes, without thinking, I would buy a small block from the grocery forgetting that I still have one or two other cheeses stashed somewhere in the recesses of the refrigerator. This would drive my mother crazy, because family history tells her that it is the beginning of food going to waste. My mother does not like food going to waste. Truth be told, I don't either.
But I am not perfect. I have had a hand in food expiring into oblivion inside the refrigerator a couple times. So once in a while, I will go scouring the ref for forgotten odds and ends and try to use them up in a dish or two. This mac and cheese number for instance is courtesy of the latest collection of cheeses I've apparently hoarded, leftover panko from the last furai dinner, and that box of macaroni from a holiday gift basket. The result was pretty darned good. It was like I actually meant to make mac and cheese.
3 Cheese Mac & Cheese
1 pound large elbow macaroni (cooked according to package directions)
6 tbsps butter
6 tbsps all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose cream
1 pound Cheddar, shredded (reserve 1/4 cup)
4 ounces Emmenthal, shredded
4 ounces Provolone, shredded
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine panko, reserved cheddar and 2 tbsps unsalted butter in a bowl. Using your hands, work in the until it is evenly distributed in the cheese and panko mixture. Set aside.
In a pot, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat until it forms a roux. Pour in milk and continue whisking until the roux is dissolved completely. Cook sauce (basically a bechamel) on medium-low heat until thick. Stir in cream. Add in all cheeses and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook until cheeses are fully melted, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture and mix well. Pour macaroni and cheese mixture in a 13 by 9 baking dish and top with crumb topping. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.