When we were growing up, my mother made the best, creamiest mac ‘n cheese. Her recipe was simple: shell noodles, milk and tons and tons of Velveeta cheese. Nearly every Friday during Lent she served up steaming piles of gooey mac ‘n cheese seasoned with pepper. I couldn’t get enough of her mac ‘n cheese and sometimes still make the dish when I’m craving some comfort food.
Tonight’s mac ‘n cheese dinner was the adult version of my mom’s creamy Velveeta mac ‘n cheese. Made with Gruyère, Brie, and Pepper Boursin cheese added to a slurry of milk and flour; the result was a perfectly smooth and creamy white mac ‘n cheese. Neither Sis nor I could get enough!
- 2 T. butter
- 4 T. flour
- 1 2/3 c. low-fat milk
- 1 c. half & half
- 6 oz finely shredded Gruyère cheese
- 4 oz Brie, rind removed and cubed
- 2.5 oz Pepper Boursin cheese
- 16 oz medium shell noodles
- Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 T. salt and pasta. Cook 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain and return to pan.
- While noodles are cooking, place flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 c. milk and stir with a whisk until smooth. (Make sure there are no lumps.) Gradually add remaining milk and half & half to the pan, continuing to stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil constantly stirring with a whisk. Cook two minutes or until the sauce is slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in butter.
- Remove from heat. Let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155 degrees. Add cheeses; stir until smooth. Pour sauce over noodles and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
I found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine over a year ago but never tried it. Having recently come across the recipe again, I decided to give it a try. Of course my recipe was not quite as “light” as it was meant to be. I ran out of low-fat milk and had to make adjustments to the recipe by adding half & half.
Making the sauce was a bit time-consuming according to Sis (who was really hungry). Considering how many times I’ve made mac ‘n cheese in the past six months, I found this recipe easiest and quickest. It’s really important to add the cheese to the slurry at a low temperature or the sauce won’t turn out right. If you like mac ‘n cheese, you need to try this dish at home!