I’m not the biggest fan of cheese, but when your boyfriend AND your bestie want mac and cheese, you make mac and cheese! For Mini Monday, I wanted to experiment and try something new with this recipe, so I found one from Don’t Go Bacon My Heart‘s blog that had ingredients that I’ve never put into mac and cheese before: garlic and mustard!
For someone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of cheese, these two ingredients helped mask the cheesiness, but the garlic and mustard added extra flavor and savoriness to the dish.
I wasn’t too accurate with the measurements that was given; I used the recipe more as a starting guide. So, I added more cheese, garlic, and mustard to our taste. The great thing about cooking is that you don’t have to be so precise and you can alternate ingredients, and add more or less depending on what you like; Cooking isn’t perfect! Although I personally didn’t like the taste of this cheesy meal, I really enjoyed making this comfort food for my favorite people.
WHAT MADE THIS MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE UNIQUE?
- The garlic and mustard
- You BAKE the mac and cheese
- it’s MINI!
- 1 cup of Mini Elbow Macaroni (or other short-cut pasta)
- 4 cups Milk, at room temp
- 1 large bulb of garlic
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar, grated
- 2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan, grated (save half for top)
- 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs, or as needed
- 3 heaps tbsp of Plain Flour
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 tbsp Mustard (your choice of mustard)
- Fresh Chives or Parsley, finely diced to garnish
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil
- Slice the tip off the garlic bulb to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 400F or until golden brown and soft as butter.
- Squeeze out the garlic & mash with a pinch of salt to completely smooth it out. Add to a large saucepan over medium heat with 3 tbsp butter and stir to combine. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour to form a paste. Then, very gradually pour in the milk, whisking as you go to avoid lumps. As you stir the paste on high heat, it should thicken. Or if the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is finished. Then, add the cheeses. (REMEMBER: only add 1/2 cup of parmesan in this mix. The other half is to top the dish with.)
- Meanwhile, cook the MINI pasta in salted, boiling water until only JUST cooked. You want it still a bit hard because we will be baking the pasta. When finished, save a cup of starchy pasta water, then drain the rest of the water.
- Pre heat oven to 390F.
- Mix the pasta with the cheese sauce. Once thickened, add 1 tablespoon of mustard or season to your liking.
- Add everything to a baking dish, top with the left over 1/2cup of parmesan and 1/2cup of breadcrumbs. Finish with a pinch of salt & pepper and oil spray. Pop in the oven for 20-25mins or until golden on top. Sprinkle fresh chives over the top and serve.
With Beauty, Grace, and Love