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Rach shares a mac and cheese recipe packed with fresh dill and chives and topped with crunchy, garlicky mustard breadcrumbs. John declared it her best mac and cheese ever!
She used Dill Garlic Cougar Cheese from Washington State University's creamery—which you can order here (just keep in mind that until further notice, coldpack shipping is required to all states)—or you can also use all white sharp cheddar or combine it with dill havarti or gruyere.
- Butter for coating casserole dish plus 6 tablespoons
- 1 quart whole milk
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 pound macaroni
- About 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cups homemade breadcrumbs or panko
- A good handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- About 4 tablespoons flour
- Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, about ⅛ teaspoon
- 3½ to 4 cups grated or shredded white sharp cheddar or half white cheddar and half dill havarti or gruyere (try using Dill Garlic Cougar Cheese if you can get your hands on it!)
- 1 bunch dill, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 bunch chives, minced
Preheat oven to 350˚F and butter a casserole dish.
Warm 1 quart of whole milk in a saucepot with 2 cloves of crushed garlic.
Bring a pot of water to boil for macaroni.
Heat a medium skillet over medium to –medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, melt in 2 tablespoons butter, add 1 clove crushed garlic and swirl 1 minute. Add Dijon and whisk, add breadcrumbs and combine well with paddle or spatula in pan, lightly toast 1 minute and remove from heat. Add half of the parsley and grated Parm. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter into a drizzle of olive oil, one turn of the pan, and whisk in about 4 tablespoons flour. Gently pour in the warm milk while whisking and allow base to thicken, season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Add cheese or cheeses in handfuls, stirring to incorporate into sauce.
Undercook macaroni by 2 minutes in salted water. Drain, add to cheese sauce. Add the rest of the parsley, the dill and chives, stir and pour into baking dish. Top with mustard breadcrumbs and bake 30 minutes.