Recipe 53: Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese

My last recipe was my 52nd, which was my original goal for my challenge. Maybe I should have made a bigger deal out of it, but since I didn’t actually make it in time to complete my challenge, it didn’t seem like as big a deal to me. But isn’t it amazing the diversity of mac and cheese recipes out there?

This has gotten me into trouble lately. I’ve been going through my bookmarks and even new recipe pages, trying to find more recipes to try out. I’m once again trying to get a little fitter and spend a little less money, but buying all kinds of cheeses for one recipe doesn’t exactly help either. Can you blame me, folks? When I have recipes with mushrooms and Brie, cheese fries, and mostly blue cheeses, a girl’s resolve can weaken. Blue cheese mac and cheese!

I love blue cheese unapologetically. I know it has a certain aroma that not everyone can appreciate, but there’s something about that creamy, moldy goodness that to me tastes like savory with just a slight tang of sweet. It works on salads, chicken wings (in the form of dressing), and steaks. And, perhaps, mac and cheese? Let’s see.

Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese (from How Sweet Eats)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat mini elbow noodles (I used corn elbows)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 8 ounces buttermilk blue cheese, crumbled
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup seasoned fine bread crumbs
  • chopped fresh herbs for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time. (since gluten-free noodles are temperamental, I boiled mine for the full length required to cook them thoroughly)

While pasta is boiling, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add flour and whisk constantly to create a roux, until golden and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens. Reduce heat to low and add in 6 ounces of the fontina, all of the gorgonzola and about 6 ounces of the other blue. Stir until cheese melts and sauce is thick. Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper if desired. (I wish I had a good camera, because the sauce was really blue here)

Add noodles to the baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top, tossing to coat all the noodles. Sprinkle remaining fontina and blue over top evenly, then cover in breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy.

 

Verdict: 3/5

If you remember the chicken wing mac and cheese, I’ve had a little blue cheese in macs before, but never enough for the full sauce.  As you might expect, you really need to like blue cheese already to get the full experience of this mac, although surprisingly the fontina did come through stronger than I anticipated.  One unexpected bonus was the fact that the top and edges got incredibly crispy; this was best enjoyed when it came out of the oven, as it wasn’t nearly as crispy when warmed up in the microwave.  Loverman was not terribly impressed with the mac, but I have a feeling it was his usual complaint that it could use chicken.

You may have noticed the last few macs have had either a low quality picture or no picture at all.  That’s because my camera has died, leaving me with my iPad as my main way to document what these macs look like.  Would you like to help?  Let me know!  I’d be incredibly appreciative.

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