I feel like I’ve had a theme going on lately… Comfort food that uses whatever I have in my fridge. Not a bad thing if you ask me. I feel like we’ve been eating like royalty lately!! Well, royalty that loves comfort food made for eating on the couch while snuggled up watching a movie.
This time around, in my race to clean out my fridge, I decided on Mac n’ Cheese!! My girlfriend had put together the most EPIC cheese platter for my 30th birthday. I mean seriously outstanding. Every cheese you could ever dream of was on that damn platter!!
That being said, our fridge has had a stockpile of cheese ever since. Mac n’ Cheese just seemed like the most obvious, perfect pick. I knew I’d need to take down some serious Lactaid in order to devour all its goodness but I was prepared for it. Amped for it really.
To make this adventure even more fun, Shivyon was staying out our house during the madness so she decided to photograph it all! Let me tell you, I loved just cooking away while someone else did the photography!! I mean I love to take photos myself but honestly, I felt so special just being able to focus on the food. It was a treat :)
I had written up a few more blurbs regarding yada yada yada but once I saw Shivyon’s photos I immediately knew I needed to delete a few things here and there so you could just zone out and enjoy…
All the beauty that is mac n’ cheese.
All the joy that is two old friends cooking together.
All the insanity that is two creatives collaborating.
Plus, Barkley decided to be my sous chef – what’s not to love?!
A few tips before the photo zoo takes it away:
- When cooking GF pasta, salt the cooking water so it tastes like the sea. Seriously. Do it.
- Always save at least one to two cups of pasta water after draining. It can be used to break up the pasta if it sticks together and it can be used to thin a pasta sauce if needed.
- I used ½ tsp of cinnamon for a sweet and salty effect. We loved the flavor combo in our house!!! However, it you aren’t a fan of cinnamon or the sweet and salty combo, reduce the amount to ¼ tsp.
Other than that, the recipe covers rest of the details so you should be good to go. Before you start looking at photos you might want to make sure you have a napkin near to wipe up any drool that you can’t control :)
To see more of Shivyon’s work, check her out at www.mitchellphotocollection.com.
Don’t forget to follow along and share your creations at
Lick the Bowl – You Only Live Once,
Buffalo & Bleu Mac n’ Cheese
(Yield: 4 super hearty servings)
*Only the chips crushed on top contain soy and sugar, you can replace these with breadcrumbs to avoid both allergens.
- 10 oz elbow macaroni
- QS salt
- 2 oz butter
- 8 oz sweet onion, diced
- 1 oz tapioca starch
- 20 oz whole milk
- 3 oz Frank’s Buffalo Hot Sauce
- 4 oz Tillamook Cheddar, grated
- 2.5 oz Boursin Shallot & Chive
- 4 oz Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar, grated
- 4.25 oz blue cheese dressing
- 1¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ to ½ tsp cinnamon
- QS Cayenne pepper
- 8 oz Juanita's Sweet Chili Chips, crushed
- 2 oz butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 3 oz blue cheese, medium diced
- QS green onions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat four 16oz individual ramekins with cooking spray.
- Bring 1.5 QTs of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add salt to water until it tastes like the sea! Once boiling, add elbows and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Elbows should be al dente when done. Strain pasta and set aside. Save 1 to 2 cups of the pasta water for later use (if necessary).
- Add 2 oz of butter to a large stockpot with sweet onions.
- Then add flour to pot and cook over low heat for approximately two minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Once mixture is thoroughly combined and starts to brown, slowly whisk in the milk. Cook for another five minutes or so until mixture is thickened and smooth.
- Pour in Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce and whisk to combine.
- Once thickened, add cheeses and spices to pan stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir over low heat until all cheese is incorporated into sauce. Remove from heat.
- Pour a little bit of the pasta water over the elbows to loosen them up. Then, add elbows to pot and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Portion Mac n’ Cheese into four prepared ramekins. If using scoops, two heaping white scoops is just right! Sprinkle each serving with cayenne pepper, as much or as little as you want. Set aside while putting together Crumb Topping.
- To create Crumb Topping, combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and mix to combine. Sprinkle evenly over all four portions of mac n’ cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and then evenly sprinkle diced bleu cheese over each serving. Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crumb topping starts to turn golden brown.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with greens onions before serving. Nom nom nom!