Like most people I love a good mac & cheese. My twist on this recipe is I like to use a cheese made by the Washington State University called Cougar Gold. While I know it’s local, I’m sure people who live outside the Pacific Northwest can find a favorite in their area. Or if your lucky enough to be somewhere that they sell Beecher’s Flagship Gold, also a local PNW cheese, you can use that instead; it’s basically the same cheese. I’m sure I’ll get crap for this but I use Velveeta as well. If you’re not a big fan of processed American cheese you can use another cheese that’s really good at melting, such as fontina. I use Velveeta because it’s super easy to work with.
Like my risotto recipe I like to finish this off with some truffle oil at the last-minute before serving. Also this freezes really, really well, so I put it in small ramekins that I have that came with lids. That way I can pull them out, pop them in the oven and 30 mins later eat. Enjoy!
Mac & Cheese
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I like to use Sauvignon Blanc)
- 2 2/3 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup Velveeta, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Cougar gold cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups rigitoni noodles (or macaroni if you like that.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp Truffle Oil (optional)
You’re going to want to have the wine and milk close at hand before you start as you are going to be adding them rapidly and doing a lot of stirring.
Melt the butter in a large pan (again I like my Le Creuset Dutch oven) at medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. You’re really just getting rid of the flour taste here.
Slowly add the wine stirring furiously. The flour mixture will become solid and pasty FAST. Once the wine is incorporated and pretty much evaporated start adding the milk slowly, still stirring furiously. The idea here is to not have lumps. If you just dump the milk in all at once it’s make the flour mixture lump up so you need to do it slowly so it’s smooth.
Once you have all the milk in there you can add the Velveeta. Stir until it’s pretty much melted. Add the cheddar and Cougar gold and stir until melted. Now while I’ve put specific amount for the cheese in the ingredient list this is really just a basic starting point. Add as much as you like until it tastes the way you want. It’s possible to add too much, and you’ll know if you do because it’ll become to thick, but you can thin it out by adding more milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and add 1 tbsp of truffle oil (optional).
Meanwhile put another large pot of water with a handful of salt (I like corse briny sea salt myself) to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (meaning it’s still firm and slightly undercooked). When done drain and put back in the pot. Ideally this will be done just about the time your cheese sauce is done.
Dump the cheese sauce into the pot of pasta. Now here you can either put it in 1 large ramekin or several smaller ones that you have sprayed with non-stick cooking spay. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese. Loosely cover with foil, try to have it not touch the top of the mac & cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes or so until bubbly and slightly brown on top.