Recipe courtesy of Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Smoked Cheddar and Creole Mac and Cheese

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, toasting until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  3. In a separate large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk vigorously to combine, being careful not to burn the mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring the bechamel to a simmer, and cook to thicken, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the Creole seasoning and dill.
  4. Place the egg in a medium bowl. Remove 1/3 cup of the bechamel sauce and whisk it into the egg to temper. Then add the egg-bechamel mixture back into the pot and whisk to combine. Gradually add the smoked Cheddar, Monterey jack and pepper jack, whisking to maintain a smooth texture and avoid clumping. Stir in the cooked pasta.
  5. Spoon the warm mac and cheese into a serving bowl. Top with the panko breadcrumbs.