Four Cheese Mac & Cheese
8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 ounces butter
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups heavy cream or 1½ cups cream and 1½ cups milk
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
4 ounces freshly grated Gruyère cheese
8 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese
2 dashes of hot sauce
¼ teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper, to taste
For the topping:
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup freshly grated Grana Padana cheese
kosher salt, to taste
Preheat your oven to 425˚F.
Cook the pasta in salted water a minute or two less than package instructions call for. Pasta should be tender but firm. While the pasta cooks, heat the butter in a large pot until it melts. Add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream, bring to a simmer and cook for few minutes. Add 1/3 of the grated cheeses and the cooked pasta, stir to melt. Shut off the heat, add another 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to an oven safe casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese and broil or bake at 425˚F until the top is golden and bubbly. Top with the crispy panko before serving.
For the panko:
Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the panko and toast until golden brown. Remove from the heat, stir in cheese and season with a pinch of salt.