Tour de Mac in San Francisco
So I feel like I am an excellent judge of mac n’ cheese. When I lived in San Francisco, my girlfriends and I went on a “Tour de Mac”. That was our clever way of pretty much saying we want to eat all the macaroni in San Francisco in order to make a decision. Oh and we did. Back in the day when my sense of adventure was prime and my metabolism was strong. Now? Meeehhhhhh. Mac n’ cheese is a luxury, because, well let’s just say the jiggle doesn’t fall off like it used to in my twenties.
Homemade Mac n’ cheese is just so much better
Now don’t get me wrong, I love me a box of good old Kraft Mac n’ cheese now and again, it is nostalgic for sure. Talk about a time machine meal. But there is just so much more that homemade Mac n’ cheese offers that the powdery, box brand can’t.
Give me all the cheese!
I have 4 kinds of cheeses in this recipe because WHY NOT? I am all about more cheese and if you can combine different flavors into one noodley dish, then I say go for it. Plus not all cheese is created equal. For this I used sharp cheddar, mozzarella, smoked gouda and a little bit of Jarlsberg. The cheddar adds the tangy, the mozzarella adds the smooth and light, the smoked gouda adds the (you guessed it) smokey, and the Jarlsberg is a rich cheese that melts incredibly well and gives you the ultimate string factor. Which is super important in Mac n’ cheese! When you pull that fork away from the plate you want all the strings you can get! All those gooey melty cheese strings really does add to the consuming experience.
That crunchy topping…
The topping for this is panko breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne and salt. I KNOW RIGHT? This savory topping bakes and gets extra crispy and adds a massive flavor and crunch factor in each bite.
But wait…there is more!
Tucked in the little melty nooks and crannies of the noodles of the macaroni lays diced up smokey chipotle peppers with hints of adobo sauce. Again, another incredible element.
This is a great grown-up version of Mac n’ cheese. It could be a little spicy for the kiddos so if that is the case, omit the chipotle, adobo sauce and cayenne! POOF! Incredible plain homemade Mac n’ cheese!
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