Smoked Gouda Mac ‘n Cheese

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded smoked gouda (about 1/3 pound)
2 cups macaroni, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Applewood smoked bacon (optional)

Stove top method:  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk constantly for one minute.  Gradually add whole milk until incorporated and continue to stir until thick.  Remove mixture and add cheese, stirring until fully melted and incorporated.  Stir in cooked macaroni.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Microwave method:  In a medium-size bowl, melt butter in microwave.  Whisk in flour and return to microwave.  Heat mixture for one minute on high.  Add ½ cup milk, stirring to incorporate.  Heat 30 seconds on high.  Add remaining ½ cup milk.  Repeat procedure.  Continue to heat for 30 second intervals until sauce is thickened.  Add cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.  Heat for additional 15-30 second intervals if cheese is not melting.  Stir in cooked macaroni.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Optional:  Add either cooked and crumbled bacon or cooked and chopped lobster to the mixture after incorporating cheese.
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