“Shall I post or shall I not?”
This has been the reoccurring thought circulating my brain the past seven days. Last week I decided to make a unique, out of this universe, mac n cheese. In fact, I had hopes of converting velveeta lovers across the world. Did I? Not exactly.
I started with making a normal bechamel sauce, threw in some gruyere, creamy havarti, and sharp white cheddar cheese.
To make things interesting, I threw in a cup of apple cider (or apple juice) and one cup diced granny smith apple.
Poured it over some shell pasta and voila the perfect Fall mac n cheese!
I proudly took this sucker via crock pot to work the next day. My office hosts cooking competitions almost on a weekly basis and it happened to be the Mac N Cheese Smack Down. I never received my pamphlet about the “mandatory weight gain” when hiring on. Anyways, I was ready to blow everyone away with this creamy cheesy goodness.
It is safe to say I didn’t place 1st…or 2nd…or 3rd…or even 4th or 5th. My ego is still on its way to recovery. I will leave it at that.
As a food lover it is no surprise that I had a dark cloud over my head for a few days. How could I not place? How did everyone not LOVE this recipe? In an effort to better understand I asked around. Their responses:
“It wasn’t orange”
“I like velveeta”
“It didn’t have bacon”
“No parmesan cheese”
Okay okay! I will agree with the parmesan comment.
Regardless, the answer was simple (I do happen to work with a bunch of engineers). Everyone has their own personal preference for this comfort dish.
So if this recipe sounds good to you, try it out! I am most defintely a fan and so are quite a few other foodies I know.
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 and 3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons salt
Black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste (about 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup gruyere cheese
1 cup sharp white cheddar
1/2 cup havarti cheese
1/4 cup parmesan
1 large box of shell pasta
Start by heating cream, milk, and cider/juice on medium heat in a saucepan
In a large skillet pan, melt butter and mix in flour. Once hot, slowly pour in the cream mixture while whisking. Add in the spices, cheeses, and apple pieces
Let simmer and reduce for 10 minutes
Cook pasta and pour cheese over
Top with breadcrumbs and fresh diced apples