5 November 2011

Sheet Macaroni and Cheese Inspired by Barbara

the ultimate comfort food macaroni and cheese baked in a baking sheet

I am sure that like me you have a list of recipes in your culinary "bucket list" from many different sources. I am also positive our lists are getting longer and longer, so long in fact, that we will just have to live forever!!! Then there are some recipes that we come across that jump ahead of the pack and we just have to make them as soon as possible. For me this is just that recipe!

For those of you who read this blog on occasion you will know that I am participating with Mary over at One Perfect Bite and making recipes from Gourmet Lives 50 Women Game Changers. Each week we e-mail and collaborate and choose our recipes from each of the 50 outstanding women on the list. I choose my recipes carefully and indulge my every whim...I didn't think it could get any better!!!! Last week for our challenge Barbara of Moveable Feasts brought Sheet Macaroni and Cheese to the table. I knew I would be making this recipe as soon as it crossed my radar. Amanda Hesser, cocreator of food52.com and coauthor of The food52 Cookbook , found the perfect balance between crispy and creamy macaroni and cheese.

Just like muffin tops the best part of a comforting dish of macaroni and cheese for me are the crunchy bits and in the case of mac 'n' cheese the crunchy bread on top as well. Me "being me" I wanted to use my favourite all time recipe from Beechers using the same technique!!! Believe me it is the best of both worlds! To create those sought after crunchy bits in every bite spread your macaroni and cheese onto a baking sheet and expect to be transported...let me just say it was everything I hoped would be!

In the heart of Seattle's historic Pike Place Market people press their noses against the windows at Beecher's Handmade Cheese a Seattle institution to witness a vat of creamy white milk transformed by the expert hands of the cheesemaker. A visit to Beecher's is a feast for the senses. The sights and sounds of the Pike Place Market provide a memorable backdrop. Their cheese makes the perfect cheese for my ultimate comfort food, although you could also substitute with a local sharp Cheddar as well. I wouldn't want you to miss out!

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights which has been the baby of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 5 glorious years. Whenever we feel the urge for some pasta we can go over to her site and have years of entries from all over the world to choose from, from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. There is a pasta for every season, every ingredient and every taste. All of these delicious pasta dishes have been submitted by all of you!!!  Ruth says, " Every week food bloggers photograph and write about their latest pasta creation… if it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner; served hot or cold; spicy or sweet; from appetizers to mains to desserts." This week the event is being hosted by the lovely Tandy of Lavender and Lime.

**My Beecher's Sheet Macaroni and Cheese**

6 ounces penne or other tubular pasta
2 cups Beecher's Flagship Sauce (recipe follows)
1 ounce cheddar, grated ( 1/4 cup)
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated ( 1/4 cup)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 slice thickly cut white bread, buttered and cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 500°F. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water, drain and set aside.

Make cheese sauce according to the recipe below. Add pasta and stir to combine. Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Spread mixture in 11-by-17-in. rimmed baking sheet, shaking pan to fill evenly. Sprinkle with 1 oz grated Cheddar, 1 oz grated Gruyere . Sprinkle with extra Chipotle chile powder if desired. Top with buttered bread cubes. Bake until browned and crisp on top, about 15 minutes.

serves 4 as a side dish

**Beechers Flagship Cheese Sauce**
makes about 4 cups; enough for a double recipe

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) 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 grated semi soft cheese, such as Beecher's Just Jack
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking 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, chile 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 three days.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

32 comments:

  1. Love this Val, look absolutely delicious and I love Barbara Blog! gloria

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  2. A wonderful recipe! Barbara's blog is great.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. This is a great recipe to have on a bucket list!

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  4. Oooh I'm loving the sauce ingredients. The pasta looks really delish!

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  5. I feel I must have some squirrel genes in me because I am obsessed with foods like this right now. My body must be telling me to fatten up before the winter. I must be careful! This mac and cheese sounds wonderful with the addition of the chipotle 'kick'. Next time the whole family comes for dinner I can feel safe making this.

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  6. MMMmmm...I can feel the texture of that crunchiness just reading this post. I love the addition of chipotle. I love chipotle, period!

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  7. As someone who has had grilled cheese every day for a week - you are speaking to my melty-cheese heart. Wishing I still had Beecher's cheese - but can make do. Weight Watchers would be so disappointed in me right now.

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  8. I remember we ordered a bowl of this and sat at the window watching the process. Something stay with you forever. I make it once but the recipe I had was such a big batch. I printed yours out and will make it with this aged Balderson white cheddar from Costco.

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  9. What an incredible wonderful and so simple idea! Why didn't I think of that?

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  10. I don't know where I could find Beecher's Flagship cheese around here. What a nice comfy plate Val.

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  11. Baldersons Aged Cheddar would be perfect for this Rita. It is true that we don't all have access to Beechers cheeses accross the country.

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  12. What a great recipe! Not only does it promise lots of yummy browned edges but includes special notes of chipotle and Gruyere. Definitely worth trying!

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  13. Crunch, cheese, pasta and living forever -- it all sounds good to me!

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  14. oh heavens! why have i not seen this before! brilliance! and yes Beecher's is so good. LOVE this idea. Thanks!

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  15. The crunchy parts of a good baked mac and cheese are my favorites- I love that this has more surface area to create more of those crunchy nuggets of cheesy goodness. :)

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  16. I can hardly bypass a great mac and cheese - this one looks melty and fab!

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  17. I'm not quite sure how I missed this on barbara's blog but man does that sound good! Cheese heaven.

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  18. Oh boy, oh boy! I haven't had mac and cheese since I got to Australia and now I MUST! :-) Love that you added chipotle to it as well. :-)

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  19. The best of both worlds on a sheet pan. Thanks for this wonderful redipe that just went to the top of my "bucket list".

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  20. This sounds wonderful - I am always up for a new version of mac cheese! You made it looks so enticing!

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  21. Yum, this recipe is worthy of moving to the front of the line. I love a good mac and cheese and can't wait to try this.

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  22. Aren't you cute?! And I love how you've altered the recipe and STILL got the crunchy pieces. Always the best part of mac and cheese. It's that flat sheet cake pan that does it. Amanda has some lovely recipes!

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  23. There is so much right with this dish that it is impossible to put your recipe aside. It will be moving from your kitchen to mine this weekend. Have a great day Val. Blessings...Mary

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  24. i'm just completely smitten with this idea--the crispy edges that result (so many! so much!) excites me quite a bit. :)

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  25. ahhh...this looks so delicious. I too love the crunchy topping! And you said gruyere...I'm drooling over here.

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  26. The crunchy bits are my fave, too! Right out of the oven. Yum. I recently saw a version of this on Pinterest and decided I had to try it. Now I see it again. A sign, don't you think?

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  27. It is funny. I came here looking for a mac and cheese recipe. I didn't even have to search for it. It jumped out at me.
    Unfortunately, I don't have all the ingredients and I am making it tonight but I do want to keep this recipe, for another time.

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  28. Great post. I always love the dishes that Amanda of Food52 comes up with. And this one is no exception. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

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  29. I missed last week's 50 women round up - this dish looks scrummy! Thanks for sharing with PPN :)

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  30. I like you am a fan of the crunchy bits :) Looks and sounds oh so yummy!

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  31. Yes, yes, yes to crunchy bits. They are the best part.
    Sam

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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