It is Secret Recipe Club time! You remember, it's where participating bloggers are assigned a blog with the challenge of identifying a recipe, preparing it and then posting on a designated day. I was really excited to be assigned Alli 'n Sons! She uses the descriptor: Motherhood, Baking and Boys with a Side of Chocolate...so cute! How she does everything being "up to her armpits" with two busy young men, I don't know. Three cheers for Alli!!!
While chocolate is a popular ingredient on Alli 'n Sons, I couldn't take my eyes from the World's Best Mac and Cheese! Who cares that, like Alli, I could not find Beecher's artisan cheeses? Alli said she was able to substitute with brands in her area and felt great about the results so I decided that I would do the same. I think it is the touch of chipotle chili powder that sends this over the top...along with white cheddar...and Gruyere...both favorites of mine.
World's Best Mac and Cheese
adapted from Beecher's Mac and Cheese and Alli 'n Sons
Preheat oven: 350° F.
Butter an 8" casserole dish for four
Beecher's Flagship Cheese Sauce
(Makes about four cups)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
14 ounces semi-hard cheese, such as Beecher's Flagship, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 ounces semi-soft cheese, such as Beecher's Just Jack
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for two minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about three minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days.
NOTE: A single batch of sauce makes enough for a double recipe of macaroni and cheese.
6 ounces penne pasta
2 cups Beecher's Flagship Sauce
1 ounce cheddar, grated (1/4 cup)
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
Cook the penne two minutes less than package directions. (It finishes in the oven.) Rinse the pasta in cold water and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta and 2 cups Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chili powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let sit for five minutes before serving.
Note: If the recipe is doubled, use a 9 X 13 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Mr. T and I loved this Mac and Cheese. Since my daughter lives in Seattle, I am going to pay them a visit the next time I am there.... When I make this again, I think I will order the cheese on-line, just for fun!