For the Cheese Sauce:
- 3 cups whole milk
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups (155 grams) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup (50 grams) shredded gruyere or pepper jack cheese
To Assemble the Mac:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup (65 grams) panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning and a few cracks of fresh cracked black pepper
- ¾ pound (340 grams) elbow macaroni
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- To make the cheese sauce, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Lower heat to low.Slowly pour in milk 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken once the first cup is added, but will thin out as all of the milk is added.
- Return pot to medium heat and whisk constantly for 2 to 3 minutes as the sauce thickens. Sauce will become silky and thick. To test the thickness, dip a metal spoon into the sauce. If the sauce coats the spoon and doesn’t look translucent or slide off the spoon like milk, it’s done. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder
- Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar and gruyere or pepper jack cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and thoroughly combined. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well and add the cooked pasta to the warm sauce. Transfer the mac and cheese to a 10-inch cast iron skillet or similar oven safe dish. Place a rack in the oven and preheat oven tot 375 degrees F.
- While the oven preheats, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Add bread crumbs and toast to just golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the mac and cheese and top with tomato slices. Gently season the tomato slices with salt and pepper before baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the tomatoes have begun to roast and wrinkle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for just a few minutes before serving. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and warmed for up to 5 days. immediately, or place in an oven proof dish for easy re-heating and serving. Top with toasted breadcrumbs just before serving.