gina's mac and cheese

My parents own a cheese and wine store in Michigan, where they not only import cheese from around the world, but also make it. I grew up eating some of the most wonderful cheeses from around the world, and the most delicious goat cheese you will ever try made by my very own dad!
That being said, I am a cheese fiend.
There's nothing better than gooey, melted cheese over pretty much anything.

When making mac and cheese, using a bechamel (white) sauce as a base allows you to add whatever cheese you'd like to your mac and cheese to make it your own special dish.

Gina's Mac and Cheese
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups of whatever cheese you would like, shredded (I used goat cheese, mature English cheddar, gruyere, comte, cantal, and a few other random bits I found in the cheese drawer. Thanks for the weekly packages, Mom!)
1/2 a box of macaroni, penne, rigatoni or any other small pasta

Cook noodles in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain when they're finished. 
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. 
Add the flour and stir until it clumps up, cooking for about a minute to get rid of the raw flour taste. This is known as a roux, by the way. It is the thickening agent so your sauce gets lovely and gooey and ready for cheese. 
(Do you see my little cat in the background? Oliver wants to help cook! Or just look out the window...)
Mmm, look at that roux action. 
Using a whisk, slowly stir in your milk so everything is combined. It will go from a solid mass to a thick, gooey consistency as shown below. 

Turn the heat on low and add mustard, salt, pepper and all of your cheese. The mustard is crucial for a good mac and cheese. If you've ever made one before and, even though you add TONS of cheese, it lacks that cheese-y flavor, this is probably why. The mustard somehow brings out the flavor of the cheese and gives the dish the dimension it needs.
Stir constantly, and once it is partially melted you can turn off the heat so it doesn't get burned. 
After draining your noodles, dump them in with the sauce and mix to coat noodles. Pour into a glass oven dish and top with breadcrumbs and more cheese if you'd like (I'm usually too hungry to do this step). Bake for 25 minutes.
LOOK AT THAT! Lighting was a bit off for the photo, but it looked and tasted sooooooo unbelievably good!

I highly recommend this recipe because it really is so easy. You can even skip the baking and just eat it right away! Cooking is one of my favorite things to do to destress. When you've got something like this dish to look forward to, how could you not feel a bit more comforted?

Gina xoxo

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6 comments

  1. OMG i must try making

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    1. girl...it's so good! you've got to try.

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  2. Looks delicious! Would love to try this.

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    1. you'll be able to find so many cheese to use in this being in Europe! Lucky girl!

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  3. That looks like just delicious comfort food, definitely going to try it!

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    1. It's so surprisingly easy too! That's my favorite part about it :)

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