Friday, March 07, 2008

Can't go wrong with Mac 'n Cheese

In the savory department, there are few foods in the world that we would choose over a good Mac and Cheese - there are endless varieties out there and I don't think we've made one that we haven't enjoyed yet!

Tonight's version, Four Cheese Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, sneaks in a bit of nutrition by using a whole wheat elbow pasta and slipping in some chunky cauliflower florets. Of course you need a smooth cream sauce to coat the pasta - to a thickened milk base, a combination of sharp white Cheddar cheese, buttery Fontina and a couple ounces of Gruyère are added for a complex flavor. Seasoning the sauce with dry mustard and a dash of cayenne pepper perks up the mixture without making it spicy.

When you combine the pasta and sauce, the crisp-tender cauliflower is added, so use a light hand as you mix them together to keep the florets intact. So where does the fourth cheese come in? Once the elbow mixture is scooped into a casserole dish, a handful of Parmesan cheese is scattered on top, followed up by a good dose of crisp panko breadcrumbs for that distinctive golden brown crust on top. Baked until bubbly, we let the dish sit after it came out of the oven to cool for about 10 minutes and we were able to pull out tall and clean slices. With its warm, luscious cheesy sauce, tender, yet not mushy macaroni and contrasting golden crust, how could one resist? I suppose it's not as "healthy" if you eat more than one serving at a time though... oops - I guess we'll just think of it as a good protein boost for the day!


  1. Never made or eaten mac 'n cheese before. It's one of those food that my mom never made and I never had a craving for it. Looking at the recipe I would probably like it since I love cheeses.

  2. This definitely looks like a good one. Except that I might have to have more than one serving! I love the addition of cauliflower.

  3. Wow, looks great. I think I could sneak the veggies into my kids diets.

  4. Helene - Seriously? Wow... you really need to try it!

    Lori - I really enjoyed the tender florets in there!

    Noble - Thanks!