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Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Paula Nemzek of KCTS 9
serves 8
1 pound crimini mushrooms
olive oil
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering dish
1 cup panko crumbs, divided
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups nonfat milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 dash hot sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
1 pound elbow pasta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13-inch casserole; set aside. Slice mushrooms and sauté in olive oil until tender.
Prepare the topping. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Place panko and 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan in a small bowl. Pour the butter over this mixture and toss. Set aside.
Prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat milk to a simmer. Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly to cook out the flour taste. Mixture will turn a pale gold. Add the hot milk slowly, continuously whisking to avoid lumps as the mixture thickens. Stir in the salt, pepper, hot sauce, 2 cups cheddar, 11/2 cups Gruyere and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. Set aside.
Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water. Cook pasta for 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions. Drain pasta and place in large mixing bowl. Stir in cheese sauce. Add sautéed mushrooms. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
Mix together the remaining cheddar and Gruyere. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole and top with the panko mixture. Bake about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.


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