The Ultimate Mac & Cheese
Recipe by Matt Jennings
We invited chefs Matt and Kate Jennings into the AZ Cooks kitchen to teach us how to make the best mac and cheese. This ultra-mac uses a blend of gruyere, brie and cheddar, which you can supplement with any cheese bits or ends that have accumulated in your cheese drawer.
Watch Matt & Kate Jennings make this recipe:
Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Mac & Cheese with Matt & Kate Jennings
- 1 1/2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups brie, diced
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
Mix all cheeses together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside 1 cup for topping.
Bring a large volume of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until tender but firm to the bite. Drain and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook until mixture turns golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the nutmeg, then gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until thickened and smooth, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add cheeses from large bowl. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Stir until cheese is melted and smooth.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; toss. Stir until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool.
Pour cheese sauce over the pasta. Divide among eight 1 1/4-cup custard cups.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the reserved 1 cup of cheese.
Place cups on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of each cup with the breadcrumb-cheese mixture. Bake until beginning to bubble and tops are golden, about 20 minutes.