09 January 2012

Grown-up Mac and Cheese

Get the recipe
I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but around here, we like love our mac and cheese. (Ahem... see here and here...oh, and here) So when our beloved Broncos were playing their first playoff game in six years, I decided we needed a themed meal. I made some delicious orange and blue snacks for the game, and bleu cheese mac and cheese for dinner. Of course, I managed to pick a recipe that used extra sharp cheddar (white) and bleu cheese really isn't all that blue. Oh well, it was the thought that counted.

I strayed from my usual habit of using an America's Test Kitchen recipe and ventured down the Food Network path. It's a dangerous decision, I know, however I do tend to like Ina Garten recipes. I had to make some adjustments along the way, though...something I'm not used to anymore since 99% of the recipes I get from ATK are so perfect. I hardly have to think about it. I realized while I was processing the bread for the breadcrumbs that there was no fat included--how were they ever going to brown and crisp properly? In retrospect, I also wish I had added just a touch of hot sauce, and noticed prior to combining my cheese sauce with the pasta that the dish was only written to serve two. This is after I had cooked a full pound of pasta. So I made some very quick decisions and added a little more milk, boiled it a little longer to make it thicker, and shredded a little more cheese. Thank goodness I always have more cheese than I need!

A little spicy chicken sausage and broccoli balanced out the richness of the cheeses
Regardless of my small issues, the dish turned out beautifully. I really liked the combination of cheeses. It was rich and nutty, but with a nice bite from the extra sharp and bleu cheeses. The thick cut bacon I bought from our local German deli was a very nice touch, as was the bit of fresh basil in the breadcrumbs. I'll tinker with it a bit more, but I'll definitely add this to my list of favorites in the mac and cheese category.

Oh and...GO BRONCOS!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't tried (but have definitely wanted to) the "Grown Up" Mac, but Ina's classic recipe is my go-to. And one can never have too much mac and cheese!