Best Mac and Cheese?

Kim Conte

macaroni and cheese

The return to cold weather has me in the mood for some mac and cheese. Usually, I just make the box version (if it ain't broke, don't fix it); but then I came across a recipe for Carmelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese.

Apparently, it won first prize in the Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Cook-off contest. Yum! That sounds like a good way to get some veggies into the kids.



Carmelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese From Tillamood Macaroni and Cheese:

10 cloves garlic

1 large sweet potato (about 16 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces cavatappi pasta

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 tablespoons Tillamook unsalted butter

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups half-and-half

2 cups Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

3/4 cup asiago cheese, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs from rustic Italian bread

Blanch garlic cloves in boiling water and transfer to ice water. When cool, put them through a garlic press (or mince).

Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook for 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes. Set aside.

Cook until al dente. Drain.

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add the half & half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer for 1 minute. Stir 1 3/4 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese and 1/2 cup asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add the blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, minced garlic, rosemary and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole dish.

For topping combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, and 1/4 cup asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350, or until the cheese is bubbly and the topping golden brown.


How do you make mac and cheese?




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