A Panera opened up on Monday in our town. We ended up going on Wednesday night and we had to wait 10 minutes in line to take our order and then about 40 minutes to get our food. The line was going out the door pretty much the whole entire time we were there. I wanted to go before that but I waited. It was well worth the wait. I now want to make my own bread this weekend and make my own sandwiches like that at home. I had the Smoked Turkey Bacon Club sandwich and couldn’t finish it all so I ended up taking the rest of it home for lunch the next day. It was super yummy. The kettle chips there are pretty amazing too. So is their mac and cheese. The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe was the mustard. I don’t recall any mustard flavor being in the mac their mac and cheese. I can’t wait to go there and try everything else.
Here is a recipe similar to the mac and cheese Panera has at their restaurant. I wish they sold bags of pre shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese in the grocery stores. You can find the extra sharp cheddar cheese that’s the orange color everywhere but not the white. This was in a brick and I admit that I actually like buying the bags of shredded cheese at the super markets. There’s nothing wrong with that I think.
Recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen
16 oz. package shell pasta
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups 2% milk
4 oz. white American cheese, chopped into small pieces
8 oz. extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente, drain and return to the pot; set aside.
Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
Slowly whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in cheeses, a little bit at a time, stirring until cheese melts completely. Add mustard, salt, and hot sauce, and stir until well combined and sauce is smooth.
Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine. Serve immediately.