With burger king making a splash with the Cheetos Mac and cheese, I figured I would give you a fancy version served in steakhouses for years. I actually used to make this for family meal at a restaurant I worked at. If you want, you can use a Velveeta brick to replace the gourmet cheeses. Just add a pinch of blue cheese in to make up for it.
- 1 pound smoked cheddar shredded
- 1/2 pound shredded cheddar
- 1/2 pound shredded guyere
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta (corkscrew)
- 4 QT water for pasta
- 2 tbsp sea salt separated (1 for pasta 1 for sauce)
- 2 cups Cheetos crushed
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 stick butter
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups half and half
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 leek (just rhe white part) finely diced about a cup
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- Pinched smoked paprika (little goes a politicking way; caution)
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
- Preheat oven to 350
- Butter 1 13×9 casserole dish and set aside.
- In a large sauce pot heat butter on med high heat.
- Add in leeks and saute until tender. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add flour stirring constantly. Cook until just starting to brown.
- Add heavy cream and half and half. Stir until flour is incorporated and mixture slightly coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT BRING TO A BOIL!!!!!
- Add salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, mustard and nutmeg. Stir until combined.
- Add cheese a handful at a time. Reserve two large handfuls of cheddar for garnish and set aside (note if you feel sauce is too thick you can always thin with milk)
- Remove from heat after all cheese is incorporated. Set aside.
- Prepare pasta adding rest of salt to water before cooking.
- Drain and put pasta in prepared pasta dish and pour 2/3 (or enough to coat) of sauce over it and set rest aside for garnish.
- In a small bowl combine crushed Cheetos, sage, breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of dish. Also, sprinkle reserved cheddar on top.
- With a large kitchen spoon, ladle remaining cheese sauce over bread crumb mixture randomly.
- Wrap top of dish with foil and bake 20min. Remove foil and cook 5 more min or until top browns.
Credits to: Matty Matheson; m.facebook.com/albert.keaton