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I found this recipe in a magazine. I made the recipe the other day, and this mac and cheese IS tasty. It makes a lot, too. So if you have to make dinner for a crowd, this is the one to make. To save on cost, I don't think you would have to use the gruyere cheese, although it does add a bit of a difference to ordinary mac and cheese, as does the bay leaf.
- 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon melted butter
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 5 cups milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 3 cups shredded swiss gruyere cheese
- 1 lb pasta shells, cooked according to package directions (or LARGE elbow macaroni)
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss the panko bread crumbs with melted butter on a small baking pan. Toast the bread crumbs until lightly browned about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted, then stir in the flour. Heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk. Add the seasonings (next 6 ingredients).
- Heat and stir to boiling, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
- Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese and all the Gruyere until melted. Pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, stirring until all the macaroni is coated.
- Pour the macaroni into a well-greased 9x13 baking pan. Drizzle heavy cream around the edges of the casserole. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Top with the panko crumbs and cover the casserole.
- Bake 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 minutes.