Last week Kirk was gone on another business trip which left me with 3 kids, stuck at home during a miserable heat wave (which was pretty odd for our area). I was feeling pretty far down. And tired. Alistaire has 8 teeth coming in, all at once, which yeah, has made for a “joyful” week (and it is till going on – they are his first molars!). He was (and is still) awake every couple of hours, every night, meaning I wasn’t functioning pretty hotly. Feeling sorry for myself all I craved was a big bowl o’ mac n’ cheese. Nothing vegan. I wanted it all, full octane. But with a twist….I adapted a recipe for cheese sauce I had seen on a box of corn starch…and ended up with the silkiest, smoothest cheese sauce ever. It was amazing tasting. A flour roux? Never again. From now on I am making it this way. No gritty, heavy texture. As in delicious and simple. And bonus? The sauce is gluten-free as well, so it can be paired over your favorite carb besides ol’ wheaty pasta.
No diet food here. I won’t lie: it had butter, milk, cheese, sour cream….yeah, basically a large cholesterol pit to wallow in. Some girls eat tubs of ice cream, not me. I just want carb heaven 😉
Mac n’ Cheese
- 13.25 ounce package multi-grain elbow macaroni
- 1 large head broccoli
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 8 ounces baby ‘bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk, preferably organic
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ½ cup sour cream
Trim the florets off broccoli, peel the stalks, discard peels and thinly slice stalks.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni, cook for time on package, adding broccoli for last 3 minutes, drain.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, mushrooms and bell pepper, sauté until tender and caramelizing.
Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium. Add butter, melt, whisk in corn starch, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, boil for 1 minutes.
Take off heat, whisk in cheese until smooth, then stir in sour cream. Taste for salt, add more if needed.
Reserve a small amount of vegetables, toss hot pasta with the rest, in the large skillet. Stir in cheese sauce, gently fold until coated. Serve bowls of mac n’ cheese with the reserved vegetables on top.
Serves 4 large servings or 6 smaller ones.
PS: This could be veganized rather easily – Earth Balance Buttery stick, Dayia cheeze, vegan sour cream and unsweetened non-dairy milk. But hey, it wasn’t what I was craving 😉