Tag Archives: mac and cheese with rye bread crumbs

Roasted Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

20 Feb

Though this winter has been relatively mild, there are days when the cold, dreary weather has me craving something rich, warm, and comforting.  When it comes to comfort food, for me, mac and cheese tops the list.  I upped the ante on this dish from an everday mac and cheese by adding some decadadent balsamic roasted mushrooms and choosing a high quality hickory smoked gouda and sharp dubliner cheese.  The rye bread crumbs added a buttery, flavorful crunch.  Zak and I were both happy to have leftovers of this delicious dish the next day – me, because I am sick of the to-go places around campus for lunch and Zak because, well, this is just damn good.  The great thing about this dish is that it comes together rather quickly and doesn’t take a whole lot of work, making it the perfect weeknight meal when you’re looking for something with a lot of flavor but not a lot of effort.

Roasted Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 box pasta shells (or shape of choice), cooked according to package instructions

8 oz. package crimini mushrooms, washed and quartered

4 tbs. olive oil, divided

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

2.5 tbs. butter

2 tbs. whole wheat flour

3/4 cup 1% milk

1 cup hickory smoked gouda, shredded

1 cup dubliner cheese, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup rye bread crumbs (or bread crumbs of choice, but the rye worked really well)

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil.  Toss together mushrooms, 2 tbs. olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Add to oven and roast 15-20 minutes, shaking baking sheet frequently, until mushrooms are tender and caramelized on the edges.  Set aside, but leave oven on.

When mushrooms are nearly done, add remaining olive oil and butter to a 10″ cast iron pan or other oven-proof pan.  Alternatively, you can cook in any pan and transfer the mixture to individual, oven-proof serving dishes.  Slowly whisk in flour until smooth and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add milk, constantly whisking, until a smooth sauce is formed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Constantly whisking, slowly add in cheeses, working in batches.  Once sauce is smooth, taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.  Add mushrooms and pasta shells and stir to thoroughly coat.  Smooth into a single layer (or transfer to individual oven-proof serving dishes) and top with bread crumbs.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Alternatively, you can mix the bread crumbs with a little melted butter prior to topping.

Transfer to oven and bake 20 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown and cheese is melted and oozing.  Serve immediately.

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