When two people who love cheese start scheming, good things invariably happen.
A fellow turophile and myself decided back in January that 2015 would be the year that we discovered and collected the very best macaroni and cheese recipes. Several pounds of macaroni and a staggering amount of cheese later, and we are several recipes deep into our experiment.
Though it was not in our collection of esteemed recipes to try, we knew that Brie had to make its way into our macaroni and cheese bonanza somehow. So, on a whim one Sunday afternoon, we made a spontaneous trip to the market and spent the evening dreaming up and preparing the perfect macaroni and cheese with Brie as the star.
(If you are not yet aware that Brie is the goddess of the cheese world, then allow me to convince you with this recipe.)
Our attempt was a triumphant one.
I love when success is achieved on the first try. It’s one of those rare but cherished happenings that puts a little spring in your step and encourages you to seek out new challenges.
This macaroni and cheese is everything it should be. The sauce is rich and creamy and the top is crisp and golden. The brie flavor is elegantly present and it pairs perfectly alongside the sharp flavor of gruyere.
We topped our ramekins of rich, Brie-y goodness with buttery, Panko breadcrumbs which I flavored with a bit of thyme. This bright herb pairs so well with the richness of the Brie.
Though our quest is by no means at an end, we have certainly found our favorite recipe starring our favorite cheese.
Last week I gave you cupcakes and this week it’s macaroni and cheese. It’s clear that we are on the best kind of diet.
Happy Wednesday friends! I hope you all are getting your fill of fresh flowers and cute sandals.
P.S. If you happen to have a macaroni and cheese recipe that is just over-the-top fantastic, please feel free to share it in the comments!
Brie Macaroni and Cheese
makes 10 small ramekins
for the topping
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, leaves removed from stems
In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thyme and cook for about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and toss thoroughly to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.
for the macaroni
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces double or triple cream Brie, rind removed and cut into cubes
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil and cook pasta for about 10 minutes, until just under al dente. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce.
In a medium saucepan heat milk until warm.
In a large saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir to form a paste. Cook, stirring frequently for 2-4 minutes. When the paste has become slightly golden, add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and warmed milk. Stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and add cheeses. Stir until fully melted. Stir in pasta.
Divide the macaroni and cheese amongst the ramekins. Top each ramekin with prepared bread crumbs and place on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are deep golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Allow to cool slightly before serving*. Enjoy!
*This macaroni and cheese is just as good reheated! If you do not plan on consuming these straight out of the oven, under-bake them a bit and wrap with plastic wrap before storing in the fridge. When you are ready to serve them, return them to the oven and bake for the remaining time.