All this week, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith from Cowgirl Creamery will be sharing recipes from their forthcoming cookbook Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, answering our questions, and giving away a book every day.
Today: Your classic baked mac and cheese, with a bite.
This version of mac and cheese is creamy and simple, so the flavor of your the cheese you use comes through. Choose a good sharp cheddar as a base; you can use all cheddar or a combination of half cheddar and half ends and bits of other cheeses. Some folks add parsley or other herbs before baking, as seen in this photo. Peggy and I like to make it without herbs.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 pound grating cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
12 ounces pasta (elbow or corkscrew)
1 1/2 cups panko or fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or other cheese
Want to win a copy of Cowgirl Creamery Cooks? Tell us in the comments: What do you like to add into your mac and cheese? We'll choose one random winner each day, and announce them this Friday! (Unfortunately, we can only ship books within the US.)
Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton.