Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baked Mac 'n Four Cheeses

I had a funny conversation with my friend Rachael a little bit ago and I decided I would share it with you. Because you're super interested, right? Eh, well here goes either way. Apparently she and her boyfriend were talking about dinner one night and were wondering what I was making. Rachael guessed something with "three cheeses", and shortly thereafter I happened to post this Three-Cheese Queso recipe.

Then I started looking at my other recent posts, including Gnocchi Mac 'n Cheese, which, also had three cheeses. Apparently I have a pattern. So, just to prove I can be different, I came up with a recipe that uses four cheeses. Ha! Bet you didn't see that one coming...

Or maybe you did because I make dishes with cheese so often. I can't help it. I love cheese. It should be it's own food group in my opinion, which further supports my notion that I should move to France where I can walk, experience culture, and, oh...eat lots of bread and cheese.

Baked Mac 'n Four Cheeses
Recipe by Call Me Mrs. Rapp; adapted from Gnocchi Mac 'n Cheese
Serves 4, depending on portions
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*1/2 pound whole wheat whole grain pasta (I used half a 16-oz. box of elbow noodles)
*2 tablespoons butter
*4 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
*2 tablespoons flour
*1 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
*2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
*2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used NY and WI white cheddar)
*2/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
*1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
*4 tbsp. goat cheese
*salt and pepper to taste
*1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
*a few dashes of dried rosemary (optional)

*Preheat oven to 375 and spray a baking or casserole dish with nonstick spray.

*Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well, and place as one layer in whatever dish you're using.

*Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it is all melted, add in your garlic. Whisk continuously for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic starts smelling really good.

*Whisk in the flour, and continue whisking until it thickens and bubbles.

*Then whisk in the milk and the Dijon. Continue whisking occasionally for about 3-5 minutes--the sauce should be thickening at that point.

*While you are whisking, start adding clumps of your cheese mixture into the sauce. Every time it is fully melted into the sauce, add another handful until you've gone through all your cheese. Add the goat cheese last.

*Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, then pour it over the pasta. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs, plus a few shakes of dried rosemary (it adds a really nice flavor).

*Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until it's all nice and bubbly and golden.

*Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

all the cheese! (obviously not all of each chunk

butter, flour and garlic

cheese time!

the sauce (sorry it's so fuzzy!)
Baked and ready

scooping it out!
Cheesy :)

I just loved how creamy this was. Not to mention the bread crumbs and rosemary on top...easily the best part.

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