Cheese is the focus of classic comfort dish

Published 2:23 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

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Much like bacon, cheese makes many meals more flavorful. When cheese is the centerpiece of a dish, cheese lovers know it will be tasty and potentially even a little addictive.

Such is the case with macaroni and cheese. Many people have a go-to mac and cheese recipe in their culinary repertoire that they pull out anytime they desire some cheesy goodness. For those looking for a new mac and cheese recipe, “Crusty Mac and Cheese” from “Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook” (St. Martin’s Press) by Neal Corman is comfort food at its finest. This version has a little spiciness for an added flavor kick.

Crusty Mac and Cheese

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Serves 4-6

1 pound elbow macaroni

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1⁄2 cup chicken stock

3⁄4 cup heavy cream

1⁄2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄2 tablespoon hot sauce

1⁄2 tablespoon Creole mustard

1 1⁄4 cup Cheese Wiz®

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

2. Boil the macaroni in a 2-quart saucepan filled the water, until it is al dente, or still has some snap when you bite it. Strain the pasta and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set aside.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the shredded cheese, in a medium saucepan over medium heat. The mixture should be barely simmering. Whisk periodically. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese sauce with the pasta and about one-third of the shredded cheese. Transfer to the baking dish, covering with the remaining shredded cheese, and bake covered for 10 minutes.

5. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the top is golden brown.