Mac & Three Cheeses with Pork Rind Crust
4 oz Hot & Spicy Southern Recipe Pork Rinds, crushed
3/4 lb penne
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
3 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
4 oz sharp white cheddar,
4 oz mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated
2 Tbsp sour cream
3/4 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 extra large egg yolk
Heat oven to 400°. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring heavy cream, onion and garlic to a simmer. Transfer 1/2 cup of the cream to a medium bowl and gradually whisk in flour; return mixture to saucepan. Set the bowl aside and continue whisking over moderate heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in both cheeses and half of the Parmesan until melted. Stir in the sour cream, zest and 1 teaspoon of thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Place the egg yolk in the medium bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup cheese sauce. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Add pasta to cast-iron skillet and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crushed pork rinds.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining thyme. Allow mac and cheese to rest for about 5 minutes (if you can stand it), then serve.