Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, May 24 at 12:30 PM
“World’s Best” Mac & Cheese
Serves 4 as a side dish
7 ounces penne pasta (about 3¼ cups)
2 cups Beecher’s Flagship Sauce (recipe follows)
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Beecher’s Flagship cheese, grated
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Beecher’s Just Jack cheese, grated
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse the pasta in cold water and set aside.
Combine the cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into an 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheese and then the chili powder.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let the mac and cheese sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: A ½ teaspoon of chipotle chili powder makes a spicy mac, so make sure your family and friends can handle it!
The proportion of pasta to cheese sauce is crucial to the success of the dish. It will look like a lot of sauce for the pasta, but some of the liquid will be absorbed.
The best part about this recipe is that it can be made ahead and frozen--just be sure to use a freezer-to-oven-safe pan and increase the baking time to 50 minutes.
Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce
Makes about 4 cups
¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
14 ounces Beecher’s Flagship cheese, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 ounces Beecher’s Just Jack cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 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 3 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
This sauce reheats nicely on the stove in a saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently so the sauce doesn’t scorch.