There aren’t many things in life more glorious than a pan of hot, bubbling macaroni and cheese. This recipe brings creamy and crunchy together in one fell swoop, creating a delightful dish.
I like tweaking cheeses when making mac and cheese. I’m always on the lookout for new and different flavor combos. Melting factor is high on the list of importance… Just as high as flavor. Crispiness is another crucial element in the process… For this recipe in particular, adding some texture on top is a welcome addition to the extreme creaminess.
One cheese I always find myself using in mac and cheese is Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar. I have an allegiance with Tillamook after living on the West coast a few years ago… I was completely addicted to their cheese. Last year, my local supermarket on the East coast began carrying Tillamook products and I nearly lost my mind. Elated, overjoyed, thrilled… none of these properly convey how euphoric I was at the discovery. I was texting my husband photos of cheese with 70 million exclamation points. It was a very exciting day, to say the least.
My husband picked the fontina I used for this mac and cheese dish. What a great addition that turned out to be! Fontina comes in several varieties… Italian, Swedish, Danish and more. The Italian version is a classic cheese from the Aosta Valley in the Alps.The flavor is very intense and earthy. It’s best served on a cheeseboard in its raw form. The Swedish variety is much more mild and nutty in flavor. It melts beautifully, which is perfect for baked cheese dishes. It’s an excellent addition to this mac and cheese.
Just for good measure, I added some Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish out this cheese trifecta. Nothing compares to this salty, fruity, nutty cheese. Even a small amount adds a lot of extra flavor. Paired with the sharp cheddar and mildly, nutty fontina – this is one luscious serving of macaroni and cheese you’re sure to enjoy.