Rich and Creamy A True Southern Recipe
- 8 oz package elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter (use the real deal here, no margarine as it contains water and you don’t want water in your bechamel)
- 2 tablespoons flour (i sifted it to get a smoother sauce)
- 1.5 cups whole milk (room temp)
- .5 cup cream (i used half and half (room temp))
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese (divided)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabots brand)
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Cabots brand)
- 1 tsp salt
- .5 tsp black pepper
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground mustard (Coleman’s without a doubt)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare noodles according to package directions. (Do NOT add oil or butter to water. You want the cheese to hug the noodles like a warm sweater not slide off)
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour ; cook, whisking constantly for about 1 minute. (you’re almost making a roux here, but you do not want to brown it)
- Gradually whisk in milk and cream; cook, constantly whisking for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in cheddar cheeses, 1/2 of the Gruyere cheese and the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Stir in noodles and pour into a lightly greased 11×7 baking dish. Or you can pour into individual 8oz baking dishes.
- Place onto a jelly roll pan then top with remaining Gruyere cheese.
- Bake @350 degrees fro 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. A sprinkle of paprika on top just before removing from oven gives a beautiful color.
Couple of things.. you ‘can’ use Swiss cheese in place of the Gruyere. I prefer it to Swiss because it melts like butter and is super smooth. Its a little pricy though. I always place casseroles on a jelly roll pan because they tend to bubble out and make a mess of the oven. Its not an absolute necessity just a help.