An Easy Mac and Cheese Recipe to Whip Up at Home for the Family

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Mac and cheese by Taylor Halley
Photo by James Stefiuk
Taylor Halley's mac and cheese

By Taylor Halley, former chef with ShackLife Hospitality

“I grew up eating mac and cheese. I always thought if you didn’t love Kraft, then you didn’t love mac and cheese. So when I started to cook, I thought ‘Why not perfect my own?’ After many years, many cheeses, many preparations and major influence from my wife, here you go!”

  • 1 whole yellow onion 
  • 8 cloves 
  • 4 bay leaves 
  • 1 qt. heavy cream 
  • 1 qt. whole milk 
  • ½ cup butter 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 lb. shredded smoked Gouda 
  • 1 lb. shredded Muenster 
  • 6-8 drops Tabasco 
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 lb. macaroni pasta

Cut onion in half perpendicular to the stem and stud 4 cloves and 2 bay leaves in each half (known as onion pique). Add studded onion, heavy cream and whole milk to pot and steep on low heat for 30 minutes. 

In a separate pan melt butter, add flour and cook for about 3-5 minutes and set aside (do closer to end of steeping of onion/milk mixture).

Remove onion, bay leaves and cloves. Bring mixture slowly to boil and carefully whisk in roux (flour mixture), constantly stirring until mixture comes back to a boil. Turn to low heat and whisk in cheese about a cup at a time (each time making sure cheese is melted) until mixture is smooth and remove from heat. Season with black pepper, Tabasco and salt. Cook pasta (about 5 minutes) and add to cheese mixture. Taste and season if needed. Serve and enjoy!

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Chapel Hill Magazine

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