Million Dollar Mac
Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Cha-ching! That's the sound your tastebuds will make once you take a bite of Million Dollar Mac! This take on classic macaroni and cheese elevates every part of the dish to its richest form: the cheese sauce is a horde of sharp, creamy, tangy, and buttery flavors, and the pasta is tender and perfect for catching every drop of the sauce. It even has a layer of sour cream melted into it for an even more creamy tang. The bread crumb and Gruyère topping serve as a buttery, smoky top hat to each serving. Million Dollar Mac is ready for a night out on the town and ready to whisk your tongue away to sparkling ballrooms!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a pastry brush, butter the bottom and sides of a 4-quart casserole dish with 2 tablespoons of butter.
In a large stockpot, boil the noodles until al dente according to the package directions.
Drain the noodles and return them to the stockpot.
In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter.
Add the flour and whisk until all of the flour is incorporated, the raw flour smell dissipates, and the mixture is light brown in color, about 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour the milk and half-and-half into the flour mixture until a smooth béchamel sauce forms.
Add the mustard, seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon parsley, and black pepper to the béchamel.
Cook, constantly whisking until the mixture has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses to the sauce in 1 cup portions at a time, whisking before each new addition. This helps ensure a smooth sauce.
Pour the cheese sauce into the stockpot, stirring to make sure all the noodles are coated.
Pour 1/2 of the cheesy noodles into the prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the Gruyère cheese over top the noodles.
Dollop the sour cream over the Gruyère, smoothing it out into an even layer.
Add the remaining cheesy noodles to the casserole dish.
Top evenly with the remaining Gruyère cheese.
Mix the bread crumbs, melted butter, remaining parsley, and kosher salt until well combined.
Sprinkle the topping mixture over the mac and cheese.
Bake until golden-brown and the cheese sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Allow the mac and cheese to rest for 10-15 minutes.