Well, weâ€™re past the halfway point of the 8 Days of Cabot, but we go not slow down in us! I hope youâ€™re hungry for more Cabot Creamery Collective cheese on this Fat Tuesday because weâ€™ve taken a classic cheese dish and made it into something extraordinary. So if youâ€™re needing a little Mardi Gras pick me up, you definitely have to try:
Mac and Cheese â€œMuffinsâ€
Like so many cheese dishes, this one was inspired by Mrs. Well Done, who is the cheese lover in the house. Back during unResolution month, I made seven cheese mac and cheese which she pretty much devoured. But something stuck with me. Between mouthfuls of mac and cheese, her comment was that she liked the crusty parts around the edge of the plan best.
This got me thinkingâ€¦what if it was all crust? Or at least mostly crust? Could that possibly rock the mac and cheese experience any more? What if I threw in some Cabot Extra Sharp cheddar?
Making Mac and Cheese â€œMuffinsâ€
So as the name implies, we are going to make this mac and cheese inside muffin tins. Thatâ€™s going to give the mac and cheese a nice, crispy crust. However, to really gild this lily weâ€™re going to go one better and line our muffin tins with crispy, crunchy bread crumbs before baking the mac and cheese.
Finally, to give the muffins a little extra kick, think about adding some hot sauce and cayenne pepper because everythingâ€™s better when itâ€™s spicy.
You will need:
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 squares
- 3 cups whole milk or heavy cream
- (optional) 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 2 packages Cabot Extra Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 2-3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- (optional) a few shakes of hot sauce
Preheat your oven to 350.
Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Put the butter in a skillet and turn the flame to medium. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir. Cook for about 60 seconds or until the flour begins to smell slightly nutty.
Add the two cups of cream and the cayenne and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the cream begins to boil, add the shredded cheese and stir to melt. If the mixture is thick, add a bit more cream and continue to stir. When the cheese is fully melted, remove from the heat.
Spray nonstick cooking spray in the muffin cups. Pour enough panko breadcrumbs to coat the cups. Shake the rest out.
Ladle about two tablespoons of mixture into each cup and top with more panko and the hot sauce if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before trying to remove the mac and cheese muffins.
Run your knife around the edge of the tin until the mac and cheese spins freely. Remove with two forks.
Serve as a side or meal and enjoy Mardi Gras!