Packer-Pleasing Mac & Cheese

It’s important to start by explaining that I was born in Wisconsin and that all of my extended family still lives there.  This may not mean much to most of you, but some of you know this means I’m a diehard Green Bay Packers fan. My first words as a baby were Go Pack Go, and I’ve always had an affinity for cheese.  It’s also important to mention that even though I’ve long lived away from the Dairy State, I hold on tight to my love of the Packers (and don’t get me started on Brett Favre—this post will never end).

So you can imagine my extreme happiness when the Packers beat the Bears, becoming the NFC champions and securing them a place in Super Bowl XLV. My first thought (after celebrating to the point of scaring the dog and worrying my neighbors) was, What will I make for my parents’ Super Bowl Party?!

I searched our cookbooks for something cheesy that would make my parents and extended family (all dairy farmers) proud, and I landed on the cheesy motherload… Gorilla Mac and Cheese from More Diners, Drive-ins and Dives by Guy Fieri.

The only change I made to this recipe is that instead of using a four cheese blend, I used Colby-Jack, because my great-great uncle, Joseph Steinwand, invented Colby cheese, and most of my family still lives in Colby, Wisconsin. The change worked out great.  Oh, and it may make a lot more than 8 servings, depending on how hungry your fellow football fans are (and what else there is to eat).

Make this for your Super Bowl party and it will surely please your guests—(whether they’re Cheeseheads or not!)

Gorilla Mac and Cheese
Makes 8 servings

  • Kosher salt, for the pasta water

  • 5 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3½ cups shredded Asiago cheese
  • 3½ cups shredded four-cheese blend
  • 8 cups large ribbed elbow macaroni
  • 1 Spanish onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons ground oregano
  • 1½ tablespoons paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2½ cups Cheddar-flavor Goldfish crackers, pulverized

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2 . Toss the cheeses together in a large bowl.

3 . Boil the macaroni until it is about two-thirds cooked; drain, and transfer to a large bowl. Toss the hot pasta with 4 cups of the cheese mixture.

4 . Puree the onion and garlic in a food processor. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat until the foam subsides. Scrape the pureed vegetables into the pot; it should sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper.

5 . Whisk in the milk, heavy cream, and sour cream and continue whisking until everything comes back to a low simmer. Whisk in about 6 more cups of the cheese mixture and keep whisking until the cheese melts; the mixture will stop simmering. Whisk in the eggs.

6 . Pour the hot cheese sauce over the pasta, mix well, and transfer it into a 10 by 15-inch baking dish. Scatter the remaining cheese over the macaroni, and top with the pulverized crackers. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.


5 Responses to “Packer-Pleasing Mac & Cheese”
  1. melanie says:

    I am from Greenwood,Wisconsin. Two of my uncles were cheese makers. One in Greenwood and one in Medford. I love the Packers and fresh cheese curds.

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