I *LOVE* mac and cheese. Some nights when it's just me, I'll open up a box of mac and cheese, yes the kind with the powdered cheese, and that's my dinner for the night. I grew up eating mac and cheese. It's even listed in my baby book as my favorite food. And I love all kinds of Mac from crockpot mac to stove top mac, I do not discriminate. You just can't go wrong with noodles and cheese, you can't. Every kid from here to japan LOVES this stuff.
The other night when The Other Williams made this recipe we got to talking about Mac and Cheese and how until she met me she didn't really eat the stuff. I call The Other Williams' mac and cheese "gourmet mac and cheese" because any mac and cheese recipe where you shred your own cheese is gourmet in my book.
It really is amazing the versatility mac and cheese allows. You can add just about any protein to it and call it a one pot meal. Love that! Growing up this was a staple side dish but these days if we're having mac and cheese it's the main dish!
Also under the gourmet category is our Turkey Sausage Mac which will make you wanna slap your mama, it's so good!
This recipe was delicious. The swiss flavor of the Gruyere and the tangy flavor of the dijon were outstanding! Good cheese makes gourmet mac good.
The original recipe called for thick-sliced deli ham but we thought a ham steak was more up our alley and have modified the recipe here to reflect that. We made this the main dish and the ham steak helped that along nicely but if you want to make this a side dish the deli ham would work also.
Vegetarian option - Forgo the ham completely or replace it with mushrooms.
* 1 pound cavatappi (hollow corkscrew shaped pasta) or other short cut pasta
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 ½ cups whole milk
* Freshly ground black pepper
* A few grates nutmeg
* 1 cup shredded Gruyere
* 1 cup shredded white sharp Cheddar
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* ¼ pound ham steak, cooked and diced
Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop in pasta. Cook pasta to just shy of al dente.
Heat sauce pot with butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisk in stock then milk, allow the sauce to thicken, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cheeses in a figure eight motion. Stir in Dijon and ham and remove the sauce from heat. Drain pasta and combine with sauce.