I love mac and cheese. It's such a simple concept, yet my recipes are anything but. Ryan and I love Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese, and that's how we fell in love with gruyere! It can be so stinky and attracts hoards of flies, but it's oh-so-delicious, and we always find ways to include it in our cooking.
Anyway, on to the recipe. This one was adapted from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.
3 cups elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup nonfat (skim) milk
1 cup cauliflower puree (see below)
1 ½ cups shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella provolone cheese
8 oz reduced fat or nonfat cream cheese
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
Note: Cauliflower puree can be made in bulk and kept in the freezer.
Clean and cut florets and discard core. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Blend in food processer (blender) for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water, as needed, for a smooth, creamy texture.
Macaroni and Cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add macaroni, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.
While the macaroni is cooking, heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salt pepper, and paprika, and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir in the macaroni.
Pour macaroni and cheese into a greased baking dish.
Add butter and bread crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese.
Place baking dish in the oven on broil for approximately 10 minutes (or until bread crumbs are lightly toasted).
Unless you are having a panini party, you probably won't need the whole tray of mac and cheese. It's also best to use mac and cheese that has been refrigerated, as it hold firmly when you place it into the sandwich and proceed to press it for panini. So I suggest making the carnitas and mac and cheese on separate nights and then using the leftovers to make panini on the third night.