Mac & Cheese Throwdown Tonight

Mac & Cheese Recipe for the Mac & Cheese Throwdown tonight at 5th & Wine to benefit the American Kidney Association

Time: 2 Hours

Yield: 4 Portions


(2) Leeks, (white part only)

(1qt tsp) Caraway Seeds

(1pint) Cream

(2oz) Whole Butter

(1lb) Penne Pasta

(1 cup) Panko Bread Crumbs

(3 sprigs picked leaves) Oregano

(1qt tsp) dried porchini mushroom powder- optional


Cutting Board

Large Baking Pan

Box Grater

Serving Spoon

Chefs Knife

Sauce Pan

Frying Pan

Large Sauce Pan

Food Processor


  • Gently Toast whole caraway seeds on low heat in the frying pan for 3 minutes
  • Grind the seeds finely in a food processor
  • Sweat the sliced leeks in whole butter until translucent
  • Add the caraway seeds to the leeks
  • Sweat both together for another minute
  • Now add your white wine, reduce until almost 2 oz of wine remains
  • Add the heavy cream to the reduced white wine and reduce the combination to  half it original volume
  • Now add the grated Gruyere cheese. Stir until all the cheese is completely melted
  • While the cream is reducing, boil the pasta to an Al dente firmness
  • After pasta is finished cooking, drain
  • Add sauce and toss until the pasta is covered
  • Place in container, top with a mixture of grated domestic or imported Gruyere cheese plus a 1/4th of parmesan cheese.
  • Return to the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until hardened


Topping Method

  • Melt whole butter
  • Add fresh oregano leaves
  • Sweat for 2 minutes
  • Add freshly grown black pepper
  • Add the panko and stir until the bread crumbs become light to a golden brown
  • When ready to plate, sprinkle bread crumbs over the Mac &’ Cheese when plated.

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