Thursday, March 1, 2012

Superbowl 2012 - Beecher's World's Best Mac and Cheese

This is kind of late but that is because I have been too lazy to really update, but have been inspired by a group of food bloggers I met yesterday by accident when I was invited to a KitchenAid demo. So I will probably be posting a lot more frequently and with pics!

We went over to some friends' place for Superbowl and since they were making chili and several dips, I decided to make and bring some mac and cheese to eat with the chili, along with some of my favorite thin and crispy tortilla chips and my favorite thick and crunchy tortilla chips and potato chips (the tortilla chips aren't listed on the site).

I wanted something new and different as I dangerously like to prepare for the first time even though that is like Dinner Party 101 so I was thinking about what kind of cheese would probably go well with a chili. One of the things that came to mind was Beecher's Flagship cheese because it was slightly sweet and slightly nutty and as I had recalled still somewhat sharp and tangy. Luckily when I googled it there was already a mac and cheese recipe using it AND it was "world's best." So I went for it, only using macaroni instead of penne because I don't really care for any pasta other than the really thin ones like angel hair and lasagna noodles and of course the all-time classic macaroni. Oh, and I couldn't find Just Jack so I used gruyere as they suggested (which I thought was an odd sub for a jack cheese but whatever).

Beecher's World's Best Mac & Cheese

Serves 8 as a side dish

  • 15 ounces penne pasta
  • Beecher’s Flagship Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) Beecher’s Flagship cheese (or cheddar cheese), grated
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) Beecher’s Just Jack cheese (or gruyere cheese), grated
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Directions: 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 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheese and then the chili powder.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let the mac and cheese sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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 (or cheddar cheese), grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ounces Beecher’s Just Jack cheese (or gruyere cheese), grated (1/2 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions: 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.

It was a hit and everyone loved it, and I really did like it and will probably use the sauce for some roasted cauliflower or something later down the line but it wasn't quite what I had hoped for to pair with chili so I think next time I will stick with a sharp cheddar.

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