So it’s been two and a half weeks since I’ve been home alone. No handsome man. Just me, 2 cats and a big pot of mac and cheese. Feel sorry for me yet?
I used to be one of those overly independent I-don’t-miss-anyone kind of gals. The kind who would take off on holiday by herself for a month with barely a goodbye to to the guy she was supposed to miss.
That girl is long gone. I blame my handsome man for being so damn missable when he’s gone.
This über cheesy pot of make-me-feel-better four cheese mac and cheese is doing its job. Maybe too good of a job. Does anyone want to come over and share this with me before I eat the whole pot?
I ordered some mac and cheese the other day at a restaurant hoping to get some inspiration for a mac and cheese project I was working on with Food & Wine Magazine. Ha! Who am kidding? Probably not you guys; you’re smarter than that. I just wanted a big pot of cheesy carbs. Mmm cheesy carbs.
Thing was though that I was thoroughly disappointed with the dry flavourless mess that the waiter handed to me. How do you mess up macaroni and cheese? Seriously guys, the stuff is easy to make.
If you’ve never ventured far from ripping open the top of a blue and yellow box I think it’s about time. Seriously, you should make this. Tonight. Or better yet, right now. (I’m getting bossy, aren’t I?)
The base is made with a béchamel (read: ba sha mel) sauce that you stir some cheese into and pour over the macaroni. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy sounding name. It’s simple. Really simple. Like butter, flour and milk kind of simple. Easy.
Also, you can easily make this into a gluten free macaroni and cheese. Truth is that the pics you see here are of gluten free pasta and a gluten free mac and cheese sauce. I had a serious pile of extra gluten free macaroni after finishing that project I was telling you about. So … I decided to put it to good use and treat my
poor, lonely, missing my man self to all those cheesy carbs I was craving.
- 3 cups elbow macaroni (or gluten free macaroni)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 medium onion, finely minced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour*)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups aged white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup gruyere, grated
- ½ cup fontina, diced
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
- Melt the butter in a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften but not brown. Add the flour to the pot and stir in continuously for 2-3 minutes, or until it is light brown. Pour the milk into the pot while whisking constantly. It will thicken up a lot at first but thin as you pour in more milk. Bring the pot to a boil and boil it for 2 minutes, or until it has thickened.
- Lower the heat to medium low and add the 4 cheeses to the pot in a few additions. Stir the pot until the cheeses have melted then add the dijon mustard, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Taste the cheese sauce for seasoning and add more sea salt and fresh cracked pepper if you'd like.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and dig in immediately.