Epic Mac and Cheese Recipe

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If you ever have the opportunity to visit a PIRCH location, you are in for a treat that encompasses all the senses, and then some. A place to explore kitchen, bath, outdoor, and laundry brands, PIRCH is open to the public to peruse vignettes featuring brands like Sub-Zero and Wolf, Miele, Oceanside Glasstile, and KitchenAid.

During a recent National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA, Chicago Midwest Chapter) meeting hosted at PIRCH in Oak Brook, we had the pleasure of sampling their “Epic Mac and Cheese,” that honestly, makes all other noodle and fromage varieties taste subpar.

Sending our tastebuds over the moon, we felt compelled to share this American staple with our readers. And just when this creamy dish couldn’t get more flavorful, Chef Bridget Bueche suggests adding sautéed mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, or roasted chilies…

These condiments were delightfully displayed in ramekin bowls. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

– 1/2 loaf stale, good quality french bread, torn into pieces.

– 3 tbsp butter, cut into 6 pieces (cold)1 lb. penne pasta and/or noodle you prefer

– 1 tbsp sea salt

– 5 tbsp unsalted butter

– 6 tbsp flour

– 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder

– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

– 5 cups whole, 2%, or fat free milk (depending on creaminess desired)

– 2 cups monterey jack (or gruyere) cheese, shredded with a box grater

– 2 cups sharp cheddar (or favorite) cheese, shredded with a box grater

– 1 tsp table salt

DIRECTIONS:

Bread Crumbs: Place bread/butter in food processor; pulse until crumbs are 1/8 inch.

Pasta and Cheese: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler.

Bring 4 qts water to boil in Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over high heat.

Add pasta and 1 tbsp sea salt; cook until pasta is tender; drain and set aside in colander.

In now empty Dutch oven or stock pot, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming.

Add flour, mustard, and cayenne; whisk well to combine.

Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, ~ 1 min.

Slowly whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil; whisk constantly (must reach full boil to thicken).

Reduce heat to med.; whisk occasionally until it reaches consistency of heavy cream (~ 5 mins.).

Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 tsp salt until cheeses are fully melted.

Add pasta; cook over med.-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is steaming(~6 mins.).

Transfer mixture to a broiler-safe 9″ x 13″ baking dish; sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.

Broil until crumbs are golden brown (3-5 mins.).

Cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

For an extra kick, add sautéed wild mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, or roasted chilies.

Recipe found on PIRCH’s cooking blog, The Blissery.

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