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Stouffer's Four Cheese Mushroom Macaroni & Cheese (Copycat)

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“My copycat recipe for Stouffer's "Four Cheese Mushroom Macaroni & Cheese".”
READY IN:
55mins
SERVES:
12
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. SET oven rack to center position; PREHEAT oven to 300°F for creamy macaroni and cheese (low oven temperature prevents cheese separation for creamier sauce) or 375°F for crusty macaroni and cheese; SPRAY a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
  2. SHRED 8 ounces white cheddar cheese and 4 ounces fresh provolone cheese (or have 4 ounces sliced); SLICE 8 ounces fresh porcini mushroom caps to 1/3 inch thickness; SET aside.
  3. BRING 4 quarts (16 cups) water to a rolling boil; ADD 1 tablespoon salt and 4 cups dry medium elbow macaroni; BOIL until just tender; DRAIN cooked macaroni in colander, scraping all pasta from pot; RINSE macaroni under cold running water to halt further cooking.
  4. RETURN empty pot to stovetop over medium-low heat; ADD 2 tablespoons margarine, 1 tablespoon Pernod liqeuer (or 1/4 teaspoon anise extract or 1/8 teaspoon ground anise), 5/8 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion to pot until margarine is melted.
  5. SAUTE 8 ounces sliced fresh cremini mushroom caps in melted margarine mixture over medium-low heat until mushrooms soften; SCRAPE sauteed mushrooms from pot and set aside; RETURN pot to stovetop over medium heat.
  6. MELT 6 tablespoons stick margarine in pot over medium-low heat; ADD 1/4 cup flour to make a roux for SAUCE; COOK slowly until golden, stirring as needed (do not scorch).
  7. POUR in 4 1/2 cups skim milk while whisking; ADD 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or 1/2 teaspoon regular paprika plus 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring), and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper; WHISK mixture until blended; BRING mixture to almost scalding while stirring often; REDUCE heat to lowest setting.
  8. ADD one (8 ounce) can KRAFT American Easy Cheese, 2 tablespoons powdered parmesan cheese and 4 ounces provolone cheese; BLEND mixture until cheeses are melted; FOLD in sauteed mushrooms and macaroni; STIR in 8 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese until just blended; POUR mixture into greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  9. FOR CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE: Cover with foil. Bake at 300°F for 45 minutes. Stir before serving.
  10. FOR CRUSTY MACARONI AND CHEESE: Leave baking dish uncovered; Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and set for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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