WARNING: THIS RECIPE WILL RUIN YOUR "SKINNY" DAY.
DISCLAIMER: I CAN NOT ATTEST TO ANY HEALTH BENEFITS OR LACK THEROF. I CAN ONLY ATTEST TO THE CHEESE EUPHORIA THAT COMES WITH THIS RECIPE!
I love cheese. I know, everyone loves cheese. It's like saying "I love my Mom" or "I love sunshine, babies and puppies." So when cheese doubles as a side dish, a la mac n' cheese, I'm all over it!
On weeknights, I still love my blue box, but a couple of years ago I went on a hunt for the perfect "Gucci" mac n' cheese recipe! On my quest, I stumbled upon the Cheesemonger's Mac and Cheese on Epicurious.com. After several iterations, here's what I've settled on as my favorite version:
Casey’s Mac n’ Cheese
(adapted from “Cheesemonger’s Mac n’ Cheese from Epicurious.com)
- 2 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (8oz)
- 2 cups coarsely grated smoky gouda (8oz)
- 1 1/2 cups diced Brie (no rind) (6oz)
- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon (scant) nutmeg
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 3/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
- 1 pound pasta (I like “pope hats” or spiral)
- Salt to taste
- Cayenne - dash
Mix all cheeses. Set aside 1 cup for topping; cover and chill. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture turns golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add rosemary and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until thickened and smooth, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add cheeses from large bowl. Add cayenne. Add salt to taste. (Be generous because the pasta soaks it up). Stir until melted and smooth.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; toss. Stir until golden and crunchy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender but firm to bite. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Pour cheese sauce over; toss. Put in baking dish / dishes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake pasta until beginning to bubble and tops are golden, about 20 minutes.