Mac and cheese is probably one of the first dishes that I learned how to cook — albeit from a box with fluorescent colored orange powder. It was so good, even cold! This recipe is definitely a strong upgrade from an instant version, with a béchamel base, four different types of cheese and kicked up with a bit spice and crunch from the kimchi. Kimchi and cheese is a combination that is winning fans all around the world. I can swear, at first bite you'll surely swoon.
Bring 12 cups water to a boil with the salt. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.2.
Preheat the oven to 200°F.3.
In a saucepan, melt 5½ tablespoons of the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for just under 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10–15 minutes until you have a thickened and smooth sauce, whisking constantly.4.
Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cheese and cream, and stir until it is well combined and the cheese is melted, then add the chopped kimchi.5.
Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably-sized ovenproof dish. Keep warm in the oven.6.
Melt the remaining 3½ tablespoons of butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the panko. Keep tossing and stirring until golden in color. Remove the crumbs from the heat and sprinkle them evenly over the mac and cheese.7.
Scatter with chopped chives to finish and serve immediately.