Smoked Cheddar and Creole Mac-n-Cheese

The Smolletts
Servings: 6 - 8
30 to 45 min

Love a good Mac N Cheese!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Smoked Cheddar and Creole Mac-n-Cheese
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Creole spice blend (TK Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups shredded smoked Cheddar (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups shredded pepper Jack (about 8 ounces)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook to your preferred doneness, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, toasting until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk vigorously to combine, taking care not to burn the mixture, 1-2 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the béchamel to a simmer and cook, whisking, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes. Mix in the Creole spice blend and dill.
  • Crack the egg into a medium bowl. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the béchamel sauce into the egg to temper it, whisking all the while. Return the egg-béchamel mixture to the pot and whisk to combine. Gradually add the cheddar and Jack cheeses, whisking to maintain a smooth texture and avoid clumping. Stir in the cooked pasta.
  • Spoon the warm mac and cheese into a serving bowl. Top with panko and serve.
  • Tip: For an extra punch of cheese, toss the bread crumbs with some grated parmesan cheese!
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