I have created a couple of nice mac and cheese recipes over the course of the past few years, but I am always on the quest to improve a standard recipe. As I had a bit of time on my hand from being off work this past week, I decided to create a new mac and cheese recipe that just blew the socks off my wife. This might be my go to adult recipe for mac and cheese, and yes, I know I have already created the mac and cheese for adults, but this one might have topped that one.
When I decided to create the recipe, I reflected on a restaurant that is no longer in business in Milwaukee, but was known for their mac and cheese. You know it’s a good mac and cheese if people are talking about it right? Well, The Social had a goat cheese mac and cheese, and so I decided that would be one of the cheeses I put into this recipe.
Enough teasing with the cheeses, let’s just get started.
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 5 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 large shallot, grated
- 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2 cups of gruyere cheese, grated
- 3 cups of colby cheese, grated
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Begin by cooking your pasta, roughly 8 minutes in salted boiling water. During this time, add the milk, garlic, thyme, and shallot to a sauce pan, and cook on a medium to low heat. To a dutch oven, or large pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in your flour, and continue to mix for a few minutes, until you have a nice golden brown color. Now is the time to add in the milk mixture, slowly, and continue to whisk. You will notice that you are basically making the beginning of the sauce for your mac and cheese. Take half of each cheese, and add to the mixture, slowly melting the cheeses. Toss in the salt and pepper. Add in the cooked pasta, and mix well. Now you have choices.
If you are cooking this in a dutch oven, then top with the remaining cheeses, otherwise, pour the mac and cheese mixture into a large casserole dish, top with the remaining cheese, and place in the oven, uncovered, for roughly 30 minutes. You know it is done with the cheese on the top is bubbling and has a nice golden finish. Remove from the oven, and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes before digging in. Each bite yields huge cheesy flavor with just the right amount of garlic and pepper. It’s a showstopper at the dinner table and makes great for leftovers.