Smoked Gouda (1 1/2 cups)
Smoked Cheddar Cheese (2 1/2 cups)
. Set aside. Thinly slice the
Sweet Onion (1)
Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and add the onions. Slowly caramelize the onions, stirring occasionally so they do not burn. It will take 45-60 minutes for them to fully caramelize.
Whole-Grain Elbow Macaroni (3 cups)
according to the box directions, subtracting 3 minutes from the cooking time. It is important to undercook them because they will continue to absorb moisture in the smoker. Drain them and set aside.
Butter (1/4 cup)
Spelt Flour (2 Tbsp)
in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk frequently and don’t let it brown!
2% Reduced Fat Milk (2 1/2 cups)
into the saucepan a little at a time so there are no lumps. Sprinkle in the
Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
Let this milk mixture thicken over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, whisking often. Don’t let it burn!
Remove the saucepan from the heat (the mixture will still be a little thin). Immediately stir in the gouda and 8 ounces of the cheddar.
The cheese should fully melt into the sauce and be thick enough to coat a spoon. The consistency should form cheese strings.
Spray your 8x8-inch disposable pan well with
Nonstick Cooking Spray (as needed)
Put half of the macaroni in the prepared pan. Stir half of the cheese sauce into the macaroni in the pan. It will look very liquid, it's fine.
Layer all of the caramelized onions evenly on top of the noodles in the pan.
Stir the remaining pasta and cheese sauce together. The cheese sauce should have had time by now to thicken and cool more, so it should not be so liquid. Layer these cheesy noodles on top of the onions, completely covering them.
Grated Parmesan Cheese (3 Tbsp)
and the remaining Cheddar on top of the pan.
Prep the smoker by filling it with 2-3 tablespoons of chips. I recommend using a wood chip with subtle flavors, such as apple chips. Add the drip pan and smoking tray. We will be dry smoking the mac and cheese, so no additional liquid is needed.
Put your pan of mac and cheese in the smoker, on top of the smoking tray. Put the lid on the smoker.
Ensure the smoker's thermometer is attached properly and the lid vent is closed. Turn your stovetop vent fan on.
Put the covered smoker on a large stovetop burner and turn the heat to medium-low. Allow the temperature to come to 190 degrees F (90 degrees C).
Once the temperature comes to 190 degrees F (90 degrees C), set a timer to smoke the mac and cheese for 15 minutes. Make sure that the smoker stays in the 190-210 degree F (90-100 degree C) range for the entire smoking period. Open the vent on the smoker lid or adjust the stovetop’s heat if needed to keep the smoker in the temperature range.
After the smoking time is up, turn off the stovetop and remove the pan of mac and cheese. Sprinkle the
Pork Panko (1/4 cup)
on top. Enjoy!