Recipe courtesy of Nealey Dozier

Smoky Mac and Cheese

Each and every bite of this delicious baked macaroni and cheese has deep, smoky flavors. It's rich and hearty, and each of the three cheeses in it contributes to its perfection. Cheddar adds sharpness, white American adds creaminess that no others can, and smoked Gouda provides a subtle smokiness throughout. Heavy cream ties the dish together, with a splash of liquid smoke to send all the flavors over the edge. And what good is a baked mac and cheese without a crunchy topping? Panko crumbs and butter add the perfect final contrast.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

12 ounces egg noodles

8 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded

4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces (6 slices) white American cheese, torn into very small pieces

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used hickory flavored)

Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste

Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste 

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup panko crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and season generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (just tender) according to package instructions. Drain in a colander without rinsing, and return pasta to the pot.
  3. While the noodles are still warm, add the Gouda, cheddar, and American cheese and stir until the cheese starts to melt. Add the heavy cream and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the noodle mixture into a greased 8- by 11-inch baking dish (or one of a similar size). 
  4. Melt the butter and toss with the panko crumbs, and sprinkle mixture over the top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Finish off under the broiler if you want to brown the topping just a bit more. Remove macaroni and cheese from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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