The Seahawks are going to the Superbowl for the second time in two years! I’m so excited, I can barely hold onto my whisk. The Mac & Cheesehawk is back!
Since I’m guessing you want nothing to do with a green mac and cheese (I won’t subject you to a kale mac and cheese – some things just don’t translate very well and after trying a few versions of mac and cheese with kale in them, I have to say I am not a raving fan), we’re going with a blue mac and cheese in honor of the Seahawks! Actually, now that I think of it, this mac and cheese has both blue (cheese) and green (chives) – perfect!
I must come clean here. I tried an initial version of this mac and it was SO incredibly blue-cheese-laden powerful, I couldn’t eat it. Well, more than three bites. I couldn’t eat more than three bites. I send it in to the hubs’ office, and the staff concurred…you’d have to be an absolute stark-raving stinky-blue-cheese nut in order to enjoy this one. BUT, because I know some of you will still want to try it (you crazy kids, you), here’s the recipe.
This time around, I toned down the blue and amped up the creamy factor with some lovely Neufchatel cheese. I also made this one gluten free, although if you’re not celiac or gluten-intolerant, you could always just use ordinary pasta and flour in place of the brown rice pasta and gluten-free flour. And one thing I learned while developing this recipe: the Tillamook, Maytag, and Philly Neufchatel cheeses I used in this recipe are gluten-free. I considered using a quinoa pasta, but ended up with one of my standards instead: Tinkyada’s brown rice fusilli.
Start by cooking your pasta in a large pot per package directions. Drain, then set aside. While the pasta is cooking, shred/crumble/chunk your cheeses and mince your snipped chives.
In the same large pot, add the butter and allow it to melt over low heat. Add the gluten-free flour and whisk briskly for about two minutes over medium heat. Slowly add your milk, still whisking madly. Once the milk is incorporated, cook the mixture, whisking frequently, over medium heat until it begins to thicken, about three minutes.
Remove your pot from the heat source, and add the salt, pepper, one tablespoon of your chives, and stir to combine. Next, add your cheeses and stir until the cheeses are melted and you have a lovely, thick-yet-smooth sauce.
Now you’re ready to plate your creation, and top each bowl with a bit of the remaining tablespoon of snipped chives.
How was it? A solid four elbows up! I’m a discerning pasta freak, and the gluten-free brown rice pasta tastes just like an ordinary gluten-filled pasta. The toothiness and texture are the same, and the pasta picks up the sauce beautifully.
Did I mention that mac and cheese is a perfect food for the Super Bowl? Especially for my Seahawks fans out there – this is the recipe you’ll want to serve on February 1st. And on that note, here is my recipe.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 16 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 2 cups) - Tillamook is gluten-free
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese - Philadelphia brand is gluten-free
- 5 ounces blue cheese (about 1 cup crumbled) - Maytag is gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons chives, minced and divided
- 16 ounces brown rice or other gluten-free pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- Cook pasta in a large pot per package directions. Drain, then set aside.
- In the same large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add gluten-free flour and whisk for two minutes over medium heat.
- Slowly add milk, whisking continuously. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, about three minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and add salt, pepper, one tablespoon chives. Stir to combine. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add pasta and stir to combine.
- Top each serving with some of the remaining chives.
- Serve and scarf down immediately!
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