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A Favorite with a Twist: Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite dishes to eat. I can eat macaroni and cheese every other day. I can eat it as a side dish or as an entrée. You can add meat and vegetables. You can use one cheese or a variety of different cheese: American, Meunster, Cheddar, Gruyère, Parmesan, Romano, and the list goes on and on.

I like my macaroni and cheese simple. Give me pasta with great cheeses and I am winning. Check out how I made Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese:

Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

1 cup milk
3/4 cup half & half
2 tablespoons flour NOTE: I used garbanzo flour.
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 cups smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup smoked cheddar cheese & extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded mixed for topping
1 cup garlic panko bread crumbs (recipe below)
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
4 cups cooked pasta, drained

ONEPreheat oven to 375 degrees.
TWOCombine milk, half & half, melted butter, and flour in a sauce pan. Whisk over low heat until mixture thickens.
THREEAdd salt & peeper.
FOURGradually stir in cheese (Be sure to not use the cheese set aside for topping.) until mixture is completed melted.
FIVEAdd cooked pasta to casserole dish, baking pan, or cast iron skillet coated with oil or cooking spray.
SIXStir in cheese sauce.
SEVENTop with shredded cheddar cheese mixture.
EIGHTTop with garlic pinko bread crumbs.
TENBake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Garlic Panko Bread Crumbs

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

ONEMelt butter in a skillet over low heat.
TWOAdd chopped garlic. Sauté garlic for about 3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
THREEAdd panko bread crumbs.
FOURIncrease to medium heat & stir mixture for about 5 minutes being careful to not burn the bread crumbs.

Mac & Cheese

Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese

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