Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Epcot Food & Wine Festival

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Maybe it’s a sign of covid times that the new Mac & Cheese Global Marketplace at the Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the one everyone is talking about. Admit it: the cheesy goodness is pure comfort on a plate. And while there are marketplace versions with lobster, Buffalo chicken and plant-based sausage, the straight-up gourmet mac and cheese was our favorite.

The secret is the garlicky Boursin cheese and crunchy panko topping. And while the recipe calls for nearly a whopping pound of Boursin, we tried it at home without adding the extra dollop on top and liked it better (so a third less Boursin). To each his own.

This makes a big batch, but, trust us, it’s worth sharing. And delish left over, cold, right out of the fridge. Click here to hear about our other festival faves.

Serves 6-8

Toasted Panko

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup panko

Coarse salt, to taste

Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese 

16-ounces cavatappi pasta or elbow macaroni

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

8 cups whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 pound yellow cheddar cheese, shredded

3 (5.2-ounce) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels, divided

Coarse salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste 

For toasted panko:

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add panko and stir until combined. Toast in pan for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat; salt to taste. Set aside.

For macaroni and cheese:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain well. Set aside and keep warm.

Melt butter in 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a blonde roux, approximately 4 minutes.

Add milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.

Fold in both shredded cheddar cheeses and 2 Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels.  Blend with immersion blender until cheese is melted and smooth.

Season with salt and white pepper.

Add hot, cooked pasta with cheese sauce and mix until combined. Divide evenly into 6-8 bowls.

Cut remaining Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheel into 6-8 pieces or crumble into a small dish.

Top macaroni and cheese with panko and Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese pieces or crumbles.

Serve immediately.

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