Friday, November 25, 2011

Jarlsberg Mac and Cheese with Cracker Topping

If you're looking for a traditional macaroni and cheese recipe, this is not it.  For one thing, it's not as creamy in texture (but still delicious) and for another, it doesn't call for the use of elbow macaroni.  This recipe is however, completely addicting and if you want to substitute the Jarlsberg cheese for your personal favorite, you could. 

I have to thank my local Harris Teeter (grocery store) for the inspiration behind this meal.  Almost every time that I go shopping there, "the cheese lady", as I like to call her, has a tasty display of Jarlsberg cheese ready to be sampled.  And of course, I have to sample it!  If you've never had the opportunity to try Jarlsberg cheese, I highly recommend it.  It might not be the healthiest of cheeses, but it's definitely become one of my favorites, and one that I buy on those special occasions.

Jarlsberg Mac and Cheese with Cracker Topping
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Serves 6-8
1 lb. Cellentani noodles
6 Tbsp. butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
2-3 cups Jarlsberg cheese (I think the more the better)
dash of nutmeg
¼ cup crushed butter flavor crackers
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a pot full of water, with a dash of salt, to a boil, and add in the noodles.  Cook the pasta according to package directions, but make sure to remove the noodles from the water about 1 to 2 minutes shy of being al dente.

While the noodles are cooking, place 4 tablespoons of butter in a large bowl.  Next, place the milk and cream in a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and cover to keep warm.  (You could also choose to warm the milk and cream in the microwave)  Shred the Jarlsberg cheese and set aside.

Once the noodles are ready, place them in the bowl with the butter and toss around until well coated.  Add in the warm cream and the cheese and stir until the cheese begins to melt.  Sprinkle the cheesy noodles with salt and a dash of nutmeg.  Pour the mixture into a greased (I use PAM) 9x13 inch baking dish.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and then add in the cracker crumbs and the parmesan cheese.  Stir around until well combined and then sprinkle the mixture over the noodles.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the top is a nice golden brown color.  This will take about 20 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!!!

Adapted from: Ezra Pound Cake


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