Friday, September 25, 2015

Feature Friday: Stephanie Dube

Gourmet Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This Gourmet Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is for those times when you want something that reminds you of a simple comfort food, but with an adult, more complex-tasting twist. It’s a delicious creamy meal with three types of cheese, artichoke hearts, garlic, olives, and capers. The unique mixture creates a delicious taste. Of course, this recipe is completely modifiable, so you can add or subtract any ingredients pretty much!
I used to make a plainer baked mac & cheese a lot when I was younger. But the dish always tasted … well … plain. Today I had some free time and I loooove to de-stress by cooking, so I decided to experiment, throw a bunch of ingredients together, and see what happened. What resulted was pure deliciousness!
Gourmet Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

To make this concoction, you’ll need the following. (And don’t forget, there’s a recipe card at the end of this post where you can print or save a simple recipe version!)

Ingredients

1/4 onion
5 garlic cloves (to taste — add more or less)
Olive oil (3 to 4 tablespoons, however much you need to saute the onions and garlic)
1/4 cup green olives with pimento
1/4 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup capers
2 to 2 1/2 cups of penne pasta (I use whole wheat penne, but you can use macaroni or whatever pasta you like)
2 cups 2% or non-fat milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter + a little more
1/4 cup white wine
1 “dash” of dijon mustard
Garlic powder to taste
1 dash of red pepper flakes
Salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning to taste
1/4 cup each of feta, extra sharp cheddar, parmesan
Panko

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.
First, chop the onions and garlic cloves. Saute in olive oil on low to medium-low until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic towards the end of this process, so it doesn’t get burned. Chop the olives and artichokes and add to the saute mix, sauteing with the onion. Add the capers too. Keep on low while you’re cooking the penne and the sauce.
Baked Mac and Cheese - Saute
Boil the penne according to instructions. Set aside.
Make the sauce. You’ll start out by creating a “roux” with the flour and butter. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter on low. Then mix in the flour until it’s all congealed. Then slowly add the milk, with the burner on low to medium-low so you don’t burn the mix. This will take awhile. Keep stirring periodically and keeping a close eye on the sauce. Let it heat and stir until the mix sickens to a mac-and-cheese sauce consistency. Add the white wine. (You may need to add a little extra flour if the wine thins out the mixture too much.) Add the mustard (3 quick squeezes), garlic powder, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning to taste.
Make sure the sauce is really hot, and then add the cheese. This will further thicken the sauce. Stir and stir until the cheese is completely melted into the sauce.
The sauce for baked mac and cheese

Pour the saute mixture into the sauce and mix it up well.
Now, pour the penne into a baking dish. Pour the sauce on top and mix it all up really well. It will look like this:
Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
Sprinkle Panko on top and then either pour a little melted butter on top of that or spray some “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” on top.
Bake in the oven on 350 for 15 minutes. You’re done and ready to eat a delicious meal!
Gourmet Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe 


About This Blog

I went through numerous iterations picking a name for this blog. I considered "Trial and Error," something about cats, something about sparkles... "A Blog by Dube" pays homage to my old blog, Dube's World. It's also my nickname. :) You'll find writing advice, recipes, lifestyle tips, and articles about women and TV here. Enjoy!