Okay, so I couldn’t find ANY vegetarian Gouda at the grocery store! I had to go with a Cheddar instead (cheese man said that would be a suitable substitute). In any case, this recipe was just okay. Husband said there was nothing special about it. The panko did add a nice little crunch to it.
Macaroni and Gouda Cheese Casserole
(Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen)
4 ounces Ritz Crackers
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), diced
8 cups water
2 cups elbow macaroni
3 cups heavy cream
1½ cups shredded gouda cheese (about 8 ounces cheese)- I used Cheddar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce- I used vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon green hot pepper sauce- I omitted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. In a food processor, pulse the crackers, bread crumbs, 1/2. teaspoon of the salt, and Vs. teaspoon of the pepper, until coarsely ground. Place the mixture in a large bowl and combine with the melted butter. Set the cracker mixture aside.
Heat the olive oil and the onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot and add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the macaroni and cook over high heat for about 12 minutes, or until just tender or al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the stockpot. Add the onion, cream, gouda cheese, Worcestershire, hot pepper sauce, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.