Tag Archives: macaroni and cheese

Gluten-Free Parmesan Macaroni and Cheese

If you ask people what their favorite comfort food is, chances are, macaroni and cheese will be one of the most popular. And why not? Macaroni and cheese is creamy, cheesy, and at its best, baked with a bit of crunch on the top. It soothes our souls and makes for happy bellies. The popularity of macaroni and cheese is proven by the countless variations offered at restaurants all across the country. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board recognizes this, and so when they approached me to contribute to their new blog, 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese, how could I say no?

But when you’re following a gluten-free diet, macaroni and cheese is not something so easily acquired. Since going on a gluten-free diet, I have not had the joy and comfort that comes from this humble dish. At times, memories of Luby’s creamy macaroni haunted me. (If you lived in Texas for any length of time, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Luby’s may not be the finest of dining establishments, but they have some of the creamiest macaroni and cheese. I’ve loved it since I was a kid.) Well, the pining stops here.

Meet gluten-free macaroni and cheese, made simple by my best pasta friend, Tinkyada. Of course, you can use any gluten-free pasta that you choose – I just love Tinkyada’s brown rice pasta because it doesn’t turn mushy. And since it’s made from brown rice, I’m getting a bit of fiber into the dish. (Not to say that this is health food – it’s still macaroni and cheese, after all!) And no, Tinkyada isn’t paying me to tell you about all of this – I just love their products.

This Parmesan macaroni and cheese is relatively straightforward. Of course, if you choose, you can add ingredients to your liking – bacon, chopped tomatoes, or other cheeses would all be welcomed here. We have a tendency to be purists in our home when it comes to macaroni and cheese, so we opted to keep it simple. And let me tell you – simple was delicious!

Gluten-Free Parmesan Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups dry gluten-free pasta (I used Tinkyada brown-rice fusilli)

1/4 c (1/2 stick, or 4 T) butter

3 T tapioca starch/flour

2 1/2 c milk

3 t dry mustard

1 t paprika

1 egg, beaten

12 oz mild white cheddar, grated

2 oz Parmesan, finely grated

1 t salt

1 t ground black pepper

Cook the pasta as directed on package, removing from water 2-3 minutes early, so that the pasta is very firm. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large baking dish. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat, and pour in the tapioca starch.Whisk constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until light brown. (Do not let it burn.) Pour in the milk, and add the mustard and paprika.  Whisk until smooth, and cook, whisking constantly, until very thick. Reduce heat to low. Pour about 1/4 cup of the thickened sauce into the egg and whisk constantly to avoid the cooking the egg. Pour egg mixture into sauce, and whisk in all but about 1/2 cup of the cheddar and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, tasting to adjust as needed.

Pour in the pasta and stir to combine. Place into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until sufficiently browned.

Serves 6-8.

22 Comments

Filed under Gluten-Free, Pasta, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Smoky Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

food-1360I know, I know, before we even start, I’m sure you’re thinking: What is up with the chipotle obsession? Seriously? Can’t you branch out just a little bit?

Yes. I can. And I know. It does appear as though it’s an obsession. I can’t help it. I do love chipotle peppers. I actually love a lot of spicy foods, but chipotle pepper is more than just “hot”. It’s also smoky, slightly sweet…it’s a great ingredient! So maybe I am a little obsessed. Deal with it. But I’ll tell you this. I’ll do my best to lay low on the chipotle recipes (after this one) for a while, and give you a bit of something else. Can’t promise that there won’t be another one in the future, though, because if I stumble upon something good, I can’t help but want to share!

This recipe was one I created a long while ago. It was an old post (without a picture, even) on here (I’ve since deleted it and replaced it with this one), and I remembered the macaroni was pretty tasty, so I decided to make it again tonight. Glad I gave it another look, because I thought it needed some revamping. (The old recipe used Velveeta – I’ve since stopped buying that kind of processed stuff for the most part.) This version uses only real cheese. I also used 1% milk and it was plenty creamy enough, so feel free to use whatever milk you have on hand. I also used whole grain macaroni, so one could pretend like it was healthy macaroni and cheese, but we all know that macaroni and cheese is still not exactly the lightest dish out there. (read: understatement!) But we all need comfort food every now and then, right?

½ lb elbow macaroni

¼ c butter

1 T flour

1-2 canned chipotle pepper, chopped with some sauce

1 c milk

 ½ c cheddar cheese, shredded

½ c swiss or fontina cheese, shredded

½ c Monterey jack cheese, shredded

1 egg, lightly beaten

Dash salt/pepper

 

Place large pot of water on stove for macaroni. When water boils, salt water and cook until just shy of al dente (the macaroni will continue soaking up liquids when it is mixed with the rest of the ingredients). Drain and set aside.

 

Melt the butter, add flour and whisk. Add minced chipotles and sauce. Add milk, warm on stove for a few minutes. Add cheeses and egg and stir. Once melted, add macaroni and stir until incorporated. Add additional milk if sauce is too thick. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

 

Serves 4.

17 Comments

Filed under Pasta, Side Dishes, Vegetarian