Chef Meghan Synco’s sundried tomato mac and cheese

11

Prep Time20 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time40 mins

Mac and cheese
 1 lb large shell pasta
 3 cups whole milk
 1 cup heavy cream
 4 tbsp unsalted butter
 1 tbsp chopped garlic
 ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, drained and julienne – plus 2 tablespoons for garnish.
 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
 8 oz Havarti
 8 oz smoked Gouda
 6 oz white cheddar
 6 oz Monterey jack
 ¼ tsp nutmeg
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 ¼ tsp onion powder
 ½ tsp kosher salt
Savory thyme breadcrumbs:
 ½ cup panko
 1 ½ tbsp melted butter
 2 tsp fresh thyme, leaves picked
 ¼ tsp cayenne

Instructions for breadcrumbs
1

In a small bowl, combine Panko, melted butter, fresh thyme, cayenne and Parmesan. Mix well to incorporate.

2

Hold until ready to top completed mac and cheese.

Instructions for mac and cheese:
3

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4

Cook pasta as directed for al dente – 2 mins less than full cook time. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

5

In a medium pot over low heat, warm the whole milk and heavy cream.

6

In a large pot over medium-low heat, sauté garlic and sundried Tomatoes with the unsalted butter. Do not brown.

7

Add flour to sautéed mixture, use a rubber spatula to combine and create a roux. Allow roux to cook for 3 more minutes.

8

Turn heat up to medium-high. While whisking vigorously, slowly begin to add the warm liquids. Whisk until roux lumps have been removed. Bring to a boil to finish the thickening process.

9

After roux thickens, add one cup of cheese at a time. Whisk until a smooth cheese sauce forms.

10

Once cheese sauce is complete, turn heat off and remove pot from the stove. Residual heat will brown the cheese sauce.

11

Add the nutmeg, black pepper, onion powder and kosher salt to finish. Whisk well to eliminate any pockets of seasoning.

12

To the same large pot, add your cooked and cooled pasta. Using a spatula, mix well to coat the noodles with your cheese sauce.

13

Using pan spray, coat a 9x13 pan or an oven-safe, decorative holiday dish. Place the warm, mixed mac and cheese into the greased baking dish.

14

Top the mac and cheese with savory thyme breadcrumbs. Cover dish with foil and place in your 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

15

Remove foil and continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes to brown the savory thyme breadcrumbs.

16

Garnish with 2 tablespoons of julienne sundried tomatoes.

17

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Ingredients

Mac and cheese
 1 lb large shell pasta
 3 cups whole milk
 1 cup heavy cream
 4 tbsp unsalted butter
 1 tbsp chopped garlic
 ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, drained and julienne – plus 2 tablespoons for garnish.
 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
 8 oz Havarti
 8 oz smoked Gouda
 6 oz white cheddar
 6 oz Monterey jack
 ¼ tsp nutmeg
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 ¼ tsp onion powder
 ½ tsp kosher salt
Savory thyme breadcrumbs:
 ½ cup panko
 1 ½ tbsp melted butter
 2 tsp fresh thyme, leaves picked
 ¼ tsp cayenne

Directions

Instructions for breadcrumbs
1

In a small bowl, combine Panko, melted butter, fresh thyme, cayenne and Parmesan. Mix well to incorporate.

2

Hold until ready to top completed mac and cheese.

Instructions for mac and cheese:
3

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4

Cook pasta as directed for al dente – 2 mins less than full cook time. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

5

In a medium pot over low heat, warm the whole milk and heavy cream.

6

In a large pot over medium-low heat, sauté garlic and sundried Tomatoes with the unsalted butter. Do not brown.

7

Add flour to sautéed mixture, use a rubber spatula to combine and create a roux. Allow roux to cook for 3 more minutes.

8

Turn heat up to medium-high. While whisking vigorously, slowly begin to add the warm liquids. Whisk until roux lumps have been removed. Bring to a boil to finish the thickening process.

9

After roux thickens, add one cup of cheese at a time. Whisk until a smooth cheese sauce forms.

10

Once cheese sauce is complete, turn heat off and remove pot from the stove. Residual heat will brown the cheese sauce.

11

Add the nutmeg, black pepper, onion powder and kosher salt to finish. Whisk well to eliminate any pockets of seasoning.

12

To the same large pot, add your cooked and cooled pasta. Using a spatula, mix well to coat the noodles with your cheese sauce.

13

Using pan spray, coat a 9x13 pan or an oven-safe, decorative holiday dish. Place the warm, mixed mac and cheese into the greased baking dish.

14

Top the mac and cheese with savory thyme breadcrumbs. Cover dish with foil and place in your 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

15

Remove foil and continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes to brown the savory thyme breadcrumbs.

16

Garnish with 2 tablespoons of julienne sundried tomatoes.

17

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chef Meghan Synco’s sundried tomato mac and cheese