The Obvious Choice

When life (or Kerrygold) gives you lots of butter and cheese, the obvious choice is to make a soul-warming, cozy dish of homemade baked macaroni and cheese.

I am not lying when I say I have a lot of butter and cheese. After a long run in the most bitter of temperatures on Thursday, I came home to a big box that included this.

Kerrygold butter

Yes, 20 bars of Kerrygold butter! And 10 blocks of various cheeses, Kerrygold shopping bags, and a gorgeous Newbridge silver cheese knife. How nice is that?! Smile

Kerrygold Dublin and Aged Cheddar

I will be picking a winner for the Kerrygold giveaway tonight, so enter and spread the word if you haven’t already!

Kerrygold butter

To make my mac and cheese, I consulted a few online recipes for technique and timing. I wanted to make sure I made the cheese sauce properly without making it clumpy.

I started with a few cups of whole wheat rotini.

whole wheat pasta

While the pasta was boiling, I wrapped 6 garlic cloves in foil and popped it in the toaster oven at 400 for about 20 minutes, until I started smelling garlicky goodness.

Then I got to shredding the cheese. I used a mix of Dubliner and Aged Cheddar. Yum.

Kerrygold Dubliner

The base of my sauce was a quick roux, a mix of butter and flour cooked unti light brown in a pan. To that I added stuff I had left from baking adventures, 1/2 cup of light cream and about 1/2 cup heavy cream. After stirring the cream and roux and making sure it wasn’t lumpy, I added a scoop of Dijon mustard for some extra flavor.

Dijon mustard

I also grated in a bit of nutmeg, always a great addition to cream sauces. When the garlic was soft enough and cool to the touch, I squeezed it out of its skin and mashed it into the cream.

nutmeg

And at long last, I added in the grated cheese, stirring slowly on low heat to make sure it melted evenly and really blended into the sauce.

The cooked pasta got the royal treatment when I added it to the simmering, bubbling bath of cream and cheese. What could be better?

macaroni and cheese

I poured the pasta into a buttered glass baking dish and topped all of this with Panko bread crumbs that had been mixed with a bit of melted butter in a frying pan on low heat.

Panko bread crumbs

Popping it into the oven for 20 minutes at 350 was all it needed for a golden breadcrumb crust. . .

baked macaroni and cheese

And piping hot bubbly cheese. . .

baked macaroni and cheese

The roasted garlic, mustard, and Panko really give this mac and cheese a bit of sophistication Winking smile and make it an ideal dish for a potluck, family dinner, or even as a workday lunch. Add a green salad, and you have a pretty complete meal!

I am already thinking of the lobster meat I have in the freezer for next time. . .

What is your favorite kind of mac and cheese? Do you have a special cheese you like to use or any fun additions?

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Tags: Aged Cheddar, Dubliner, Food, garlic, Kerrygold, macaroni and cheese, recipe, whole wheat pasta

  1. Megan’s avatar

    One night I made mac and cheese and had a bunch of random cheeses in the fridge leftover from a party. I made a plain cheddar one for Jeff and then cheddar, bacon, and tomato; bleu cheese, bacon, and tomato; and I think one with basil and parmesan. I always make the teeniest bit of cream sauce and add tons of cheese so the sauce gets really thick. And then our favorite thing to do is to fry the leftover mac and cheese up with butter!

    Reply

  2. Brenna Fisk’s avatar

    That picture of the the box full of butter completely fills me with envy.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      It makes me laugh every time I open the refrigerator. It is a LOT of butter!

      Reply

    2. Katie’s avatar

      I can’t even imagine coming home to all that butter and cheese! Talk about a good day!! Your mac-n-cheese looks soooo good. Perfect for a gross day like today!

      Reply

    3. Kristen Haley’s avatar

      MMmmmMMmm that sounds AMAZING! I made some lobster mac&cheese last weekend w/ some super salty aged cheddar from Gypsy Kitchen down my street in Quincy and panko and radiatore (cool texture). Also added some shiitake and porcini mushrooms–but that was only b/c they were out of truffle oil :( …sorry no pics

      One of my cheapo mac&cheese faves is to add some manwich&turkey. Oh heck yes.

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Love Gypsy Kitchen! I wish I lived closer.

        Reply

      2. Simply Life’s avatar

        Nice use of the ingredients!

        Reply

      3. Daisy’s avatar

        I can’t believe all that butter and cheese. what a nice company. I am all about mac n cheese with veggies like broccoli and cauliflower!

        Reply

      4. ashleigh’s avatar

        That looks delicious! My dad makes the best homemade mac and cheese… me on the other hand… not so much. I always try to make it healthy and never tastes as good as the butter and cheese kind!

        Reply

      5. Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers’s avatar

        That looks so good! When I make mac n cheese from scratch at home, I find that a combination of cheeses always makes it better. We also like to throw in a bit of cayenne pepper or I’ll use some Sriracha… something about the spice brings out the creamy, cheesy flavor so much more

        Reply

      6. Michelle’s avatar

        This looks SO good…what time should I come over? ;-)

        Reply

      7. Elizabeth’s avatar

        I won’t lie, I love mac n cheese but I’ve never made it myself. Whole wheat rotini drenched in cheese sounds delicious. The sight of that box made me swoon.

        Reply

      8. Megan’s avatar

        Butter… you lucky lady you… Cheese… even luckier! Delicious.. Have fun cooking up lots of deliciousness! –
        Megan

        Reply

      9. Hester’s avatar

        Holy cheese! This looks soooooo cheesy good! I love Kerrygold cheese! I’ve never used their butter so, I think I need to go get me some!

        Reply

      10. Judy’s avatar

        What a treat to come home and find all that on your doorstep. I put pancetta in my mac and cheese. Love that bacon flavor.

        Reply

      11. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

        Now that is how you refuel after a long run. You should give lessons in refueling.
        I love bacon in my mac & cheese!

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          I have never had bacon in mac and cheese, and that is clearly something that needs to be remedied. We should have a mac and cheese potluck with lots of different types of toppings and cheeses!

          Reply

        2. alicia’s avatar

          I like my cheesy mac straight up the best – that bubbly cheese shot has my tummy grumblin! so jealous of your butter. :)

          Reply

        3. Julie’s avatar

          I feel like such a cheater–every time you ask for a favorite, I always answer, “well-I-don’t-have-a-favorite-but…” (I don’t do decisions well at all). So I really love my Mom’s mac & cheese, but then Stouffer’s is good too when my husband’s out of town (I love how soft the macaroni are!), and yet every time I pass Kraft Cheese & Macaroni at the grocery store, I feel a pang of nostalgia for my childhood!

          Reply

          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            Didn’t we used to eat the Stouffer’s mac and cheese at pasta parties? I remember loving it!

            Reply

          2. Susan’s avatar

            I love mac and cheese. In fact, it was one of my first attempts at a make-from-scratch meal ever. Yours looks delicious!

            Reply

          3. Justin’s avatar

            This post made me so hungry… you might have to bake some bread to go with all of that delicious butter.

            Reply

          4. Elizabeth’s avatar

            That mac ‘n cheese looks diiiivine. Franklin Cafe Southie had a fabulous mac on their menu last winter. I basically ate there every night because of it. I am secretly campaigning for them to bring it back, but in the meantime, I’ve come up with my own modified version: mezze rigatoni, a tiny bit of olive oil, thyme, riccota salt and pepper and bread crumbs and percorino on top. It’s really, really good. :)

            Reply

          5. torviewtoronto’s avatar

            delicious mac and cheese I like to top mine with breadcrumbs

            Reply

          6. Jason Phelps’s avatar

            That was the recipe I knew I wanted to make. I could definitely use it right now. But, I do need to eat the leftover scalloped potatoes from last night. That and the baked salmon I made for Mom is going to make a fine blog this week!

            Jason

            Reply

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