I am on the search for a great Mac-n-Cheese. I think I have found one that comes close. This one actually uses a bechamel cheese sauce. It uses mostly Cheddar but also a little Gruyère and Gorgonzola. It was very rich, creamy and spicy. The chile powder is a nice addition to the Mac-n-Cheese!
Perfect Mac-n-Cheese (serves 4 as a side dish)
- 8 ounces penne pasta (half a box)
- 2 cups Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce (see below)
- 1 ounce Cheddar, grated
- 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil or butter an 8-inch dish. Cook the penne 2 minutes less than the package directions. You want the noodles not quite done because they will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven. Rinse the pasta with cold water and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses, then the chile powder. Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top has a nice golden crust. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.
If you decide to make this as a main and double the amounts, use a 9×13 inch baking pan and increase the time to 30 to 35 minutes.
Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce (makes 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 14 ounces semi-hard cheese, grated (I used Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar)
- 2 ounces grated semi-soft cheese (I used Gorgonzola)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk and cook for 2 minutes. You just made a roux, a substance used for thickening sauces!
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Now you turned the roux into a bechamel.
Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chile powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. If the cheese isn’t melting completely you can put the pan on low heat.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days!
I used a heart baking dish for my Mac-n-Cheese. You know how I Love Hearts!!! Make sure you grease your baking dish. Go ahead and start cooking your pasta. You want to cook it 2 minutes less than it says. When you take it off the stove remember to rinse with cold water and set aside till the sauce is ready.
It is now time to start making the cheese sauce. You want to melt your butter over medium heat.
Next you want to whisk in the flour. It should look like the picture. Keep whisking about two minutes till it is smooth.
Slowly add the milk and keep whisking.
You need to whisk this for about 10 minutes until it becomes thick.
Take the pot off the stove. It is time to add the chile powder, garlic powder, and salt.
It is also time to add the star of the dish, the cheddar and blue(or Gorgonzola) cheese. Doesn’t that look good?
You want to stir the cheese mixture for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and well incorporated.
Put your cooked pasta in a medium bowl and pour the cheese sauce over it.
All I can say now is OH MY!!!
When the pasta and cheese are well mixed, pour it into your baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese(cheddar and Gruyère) and some more chile powder on top. Bake uncovered for about 20-30 minutes.
This is what it looks like when it is done. Can you see the golden crust?
You know by now I like pretty dishes. I also needed to have a salad with the Mac-n-Cheese since it was so rich. I did so enjoy it!!!!