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February 06, 2018

Any chicken coming off a hook would be proud to stand beside this extra ooey and gooey dish.  Shells are so much better than macaroni because they become little shell shaped buckets that hold little treasure troves of melted cheese.  Adding dry mustard and sour cream give this dish a nice little zing that will make your family and guests ask for the recipe - maybe even beg for it!

2 c heavy cream
1 c water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp good quality dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbl cornstarch
8 oz white American cheese
8 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
6 cups still warm cooked medium pasta shells (about 3/4 of a 16 oz box, cooked as per package directions)
3/4 c sour cream
Panko bread crumbs (optional)
1 cup shredded white cheddar (sharp or mild, optional)

Slowly bring cream to a simmer in a medium sized pot (keep an eye on it as it will boil over in a quick second)
Mix the salt, mustard, white pepper and cornstarch in the water to dissolve.
Whisk gentle into cream, as it simmers, it will thicken the cream.
Reduce the heat to low and add the cheeses stirring gently to melt.
Taste sauce for salt and pepper and if very thick you can thin with a little water.
Put warm shells in a large bowl and add cheese sauce folding gently.
Fold in sour cream.

Now you can eat this right now, out of the bowl, while standing in the middle of your kitchen (because...cheese) or you can put it in a cassoulet and top with panko bread crumbs and bake in a 400 degree oven until it browns. Alternatively you can top with more white cheddar and bake until that cheese melts and browns.  Any way you do it, you've just elevated your mac & cheese game!  Take a victory lap...