I have to admit, I don’t live close to a store which carries Beecher’s. For my first time making this recipe I resorted to use what ingredients I had on hand, a 6 months aged yellow cheddar and a small amount of aged gouda with salt crystals in the cheese. I am sure I lost a lot of the salty aged depth from not using Beecher’s aged cheddar, but this was so delicious even with the substitutes. The cheese sauce was not grainy, nor did it separate which are two things I can not stand when making mac and cheese.
The ease of this recipe is ridiculous. Melt a little butter and add flour to make a rue, add milk, stir to thicken and add grated cheese and spices, and toss with pasta cooked just under al dente… how much easier could it get for home made mac and cheese!
I used macaroni because it is what I had on hand. The next time I am at a Whole Foods or Bristol Farms market in So. Cal, both of which carry Beecher’s, I will update the blog with the actual Beecher’s ingredients.
Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese
serves 4 as a side dish
SAUCE 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups whole milk 7 ounces Flagship cheese, grated (about 1 3/4 cups) 1 ounce Just Jack cheese, grated (1/4 cup) ½ teaspoon coarse salt ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
To prepare sauce, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or oil an 8-inch baking dish. Cook penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and drain well.
Combine pasta and sauce in a medium bowl; mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheeses and then the chili powder.
Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.