Aged Gouda and Colby Mac and cheese Recipe
It’s day 22, and our next recipe is an aged cheddar and Colby mac and cheese. This dish is packed with flavor and topped with crispy onions for a great entree or side.
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Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese
When you take a bite of cheese, I want you to pay attention to when the cheesy flavor starts to shine through. Sometimes it’s immediate but fades away just as quickly, and these are what I call opener cheeses. Opener cheeses are necessary ingredients to use in mac and cheese recipes so that the cheesy flavor hits you right at the beginning of the bite.
Other times it takes a few seconds to develop but does not fade away. These are closer cheeses. You’ll want to make sure and use a closer cheese in your mac and cheese recipes so that the cheese flavor carries throughout the end of the bite.
Gouda tends to be a bit of an anomaly on the opener/closer scale. Newer Gouda is always an opener cheese, but the longer it’s aged the more of a closer it becomes. This Gouda is a perfect example of a closer cheese.
Colby is a smooth opener cheese that hails from the United States. It’s creamy, melts beautifully, and stands beautifully next to a sharp closer cheese.
Penne Pasta in Extra Mature Cheddar and Gruyere Mac and Cheese
One of the most important decisions to make when creating a mac and cheese recipe is the pasta. Dan Pashman coined the phrase “forkability” to describe perfectly sized pasta. If your pasta is too large, you run the risk of it being cumbersome and difficult to eat. On the other hand, if your pasta is too small your dish can become a soupy mess. Beginner mac and cheese chefs will notice that smaller noodles will more easily show defects in your sauce as well.
Penne pasta like I used in this recipe is the perfect mac and cheese noodle. The tube offers lots of surface area to hold onto sauce and it’s sized beautifully between too large and too small.
The right toppings can take a mac and cheese recipe from good to great. Toppings add extra dimensions of texture, color, and flavor.
In today’s recipe I used crispy onions. These add a crispiness to the dish that you wouldn’t otherwise have, and a great flavor that compliments the mac and cheese beautifully.
Reheating Aged Gouda and Colby Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is notoriously difficult to reheat. However, roux based mac and cheese like this recipe reheat beautifully. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have delicious, perfectly creamy mac and cheese. In fact, if you let the ingredients mingle together for a day or two you’ll have even better mac and cheese than the day you made it.
Add a Fork
Aged Gouda and Colby cheese blend together beautifully with crispy onions in a mac and cheese perfect for an entree or as a side to a more substantial dish.
Aged Gouda and Colby Mac and cheese Recipe
- 1 pound penne Or other medium sized pasta
For the Sauce
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 3 cups Whole milk
- 4 oz Aged Gouda Grated
- 4 oz Colby Grated
- 1/2 tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
- 1 tsp Ground mustard
- Crispy Onions
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in well salted water. If you think it’s salty enough, add more.
Prepare the Sauce
- Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
- Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
- Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined. Stir in mustard powder and Better than Bullion
- Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil. You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
- Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
- Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor.
- Combine the pasta and sauce.
Plate your Pasta
- Layer pasta with crispy onions. Serve immediately.