Creamy Smoked Mac and Cheese

Country music group Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman shares her recipe for baked macaroni and smoked cheddar cheese topped with Parmesan.
Related To:

Kimberly experiences life on a dairy farm, then heads to the kitchen to prepare dishes using the dairy products she worked to make on the farm, as seen on Season 2 of Great American Country's Kimberly's Simply Southern.

Cook time: 12-15 minutes | Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Cavatappi macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound smoked cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the topping:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Boil pasta in salted water in a large pot. Meanwhile make the cheese sauce. In a large sauce pan melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk until it starts to foam, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, heavy cream and garlic powder and continue to whisk until there are no lumps and it thickens. Never let it boil. Once it thickens, slowly add the cheese in small batches at a time. Whisk until sauce becomes creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

For the topping:

In a sauté pan on low heat melt the butter. Sauté the garlic until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bread crumbs and toast until golden brown. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a bowl. Add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.

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