Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

by Mac & Cheese Chick on January 25, 2015

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

The Seahawks are going to the Superbowl for the second time in two years! I’m so excited, I can barely hold onto my whisk. The Mac & Cheesehawk is back!

Since I’m guessing you want nothing to do with a green mac and cheese (I won’t subject you to a kale mac and cheese – some things just don’t translate very well and after trying a few versions of mac and cheese with kale in them, I have to say I am not a raving fan), we’re going with a blue mac and cheese in honor of the Seahawks! Actually, now that I think of it, this mac and cheese has both blue (cheese) and green (chives) – perfect!

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

I must come clean here. I tried an initial version of this mac and it was SO incredibly blue-cheese-laden powerful, I couldn’t eat it. Well, more than three bites. I couldn’t eat more than three bites. I send it in to the hubs’ office, and the staff concurred…you’d have to be an absolute stark-raving stinky-blue-cheese nut in order to enjoy this one. BUT, because I know some of you will still want to try it (you crazy kids, you), here’s the recipe (well, the recipe link will be added as soon as I finish the blog post…).

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

This time around, I toned down the blue and amped up the creamy factor with some lovely Neufchatel cheese. I also made this one gluten free, although if you’re not celiac or gluten-intolerant, you could always just use ordinary pasta and flour in place of the brown rice pasta and gluten-free flour. And one thing I learned while developing this recipe: the TillamookMaytag, and Philly Neufchatel cheeses I used in this recipe are gluten-free. I considered using a quinoa pasta, but ended up with one of my standards instead: Tinkyada’s brown rice fusilli.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

Start by cooking your pasta in a large pot per package directions. Drain, then set aside. While the pasta is cooking, shred/crumble/chunk your cheeses and mince your snipped chives.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

In the same large pot, add the butter and allow it to melt over low heat. Add the gluten-free flour and whisk briskly for about two minutes over medium heat. Slowly add your milk, still whisking madly. Once the milk is incorporated, cook the mixture, whisking frequently, over medium heat until it begins to thicken, about three minutes.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

Remove your pot from the heat source, and add the salt, pepper, one tablespoon of your chives, and stir to combine. Next, add your cheeses and stir until the cheeses are melted and you have a lovely, thick-yet-smooth sauce.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

Now you’re ready to plate your creation, and top each bowl with a bit of the remaining tablespoon of snipped chives.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

How was it? A solid four elbows up! I’m a discerning pasta freak, and the gluten-free brown rice pasta tastes just like an ordinary gluten-filled pasta. The toothiness and texture are the same, and the pasta picks up the sauce beautifully.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

Did I mention that mac and cheese is a perfect food for the Super Bowl? Especially for my Seahawks fans out there – this is the recipe you’ll want to serve on February 1st. And on that note, here is my recipe.

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mac & Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 as a side
 
Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 16 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 2 cups) - Tillamook is gluten-free
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese - Philadelphia brand is gluten-free
  • 5 ounces blue cheese (about 1 cup crumbled) - Maytag is gluten-free
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced and divided
  • 16 ounces brown rice or other gluten-free pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot per package directions. Drain, then set aside.
  2. In the same large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add gluten-free flour and whisk for two minutes over medium heat.
  3. Slowly add milk, whisking continuously. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, about three minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heat and add salt, pepper, one tablespoon chives. Stir to combine. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add pasta and stir to combine.
  5. Top each serving with some of the remaining chives.
  6. Serve and scarf down immediately!

Go Hawks!

Gluten-Free Maytag Blue Mac & Cheese with Snipped Chives

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My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

Okay, not so much chance as Jessica at Caviar contacting me to see if I’d be willing to give their delivery service a whirl. There was mac and cheese involved, so (hello, you all know me…) of course I said I’d love to!

I’ve tried several other Seattle-area delivery services and have never really been all that enthusiastic. Especially after that incident with the crushed containers due to them riding in the front basket of a delivery person’s bicycle. Yuck. But back to Caviar, and their ever-so-enticing offer of delivery mac and cheese.

Prior to Caviar, my best experience with delivery was back when I discovered one of my favorite sushi places offered delivery. I was sold. They still haven’t, however, gotten onto the online order-placing gravy train (really, must I pick up a phone to order? Oy.) – which is sad because I, like many folks, will take the path of least resistance when it comes to delivery and thus, I end up finding somewhere else online from which to order my delivery. Our favorite pizza delivery place made it to that coveted spot because they were one of the first to offer online ordering. And I’m a loyal customer, so they continue to get our business.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

Back to Caviar. I hopped online and perused the site. The first thing that stood out for me was the fact that your first delivery is free! And I loved the fact that you could see delivery times right below the restaurant information.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

And since I knew from my conversation with Jessica that Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard offered mac and cheese on their menu, that was where I headed. See where is says “Choose any 2 ingredients” up there? That means you can add bacon. Bacon, at no extra charge. Bitterroot BBQ was making me feel very special.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

I ended up choosing several items for the hubs and I to try for lunch (yes, it was a big lunch). Hey, the alternative was ordering two mac & cheeses – and that just seemed a bit over the top, even for me.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

The minute I placed my order, I received a text message letting me know that my order was in the works. Then, I received a second one telling me that my order was on it’s way and included a tracking link – awesome! The last text came after the order was delivered – these guys are phenomenal at follow-through, which is of utmost importance for any service-based business.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

I don’t think I’ve been that excited to see a delivery person in quite a long while. And you notice the two bigger boxes? One of those contained the mac and cheese – oh yes. And since I am a saucy person, I was happy to see the sauces lovingly packed in their own little box.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

We opened the smoked chicken Caesar salad first and popped it onto a plate.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

Next was the pulled pork sandwich and the sauces. Look at those amazing pickled carrots!

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

Not that I have a flair for the dramatic or anything, but because anticipation is a beautiful thing I waited and opened the mac and cheese last. Do you see the portion size? That’s a dinner plate.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

A. Dinner. Plate.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

And the mac and cheese almost spills over the edge. Yowza! And check out those crispy bacon nuggets nestled into that cheesy, saucy, gooey goodness.

Let’s all just take a moment and appreciate this beautiful plate of macaroni and cheese.

So, down to brass tacks. How was it? Luscious. An edgy tang to the mac and cheese that made my taste buds wish they could actually sing. There’s a reason Bitterroot’s mac and cheese made Thrillist’s Best Mac & Cheese in Seattle list. And the rest? The smoked chicken Caesar was great – a little sparse on the chicken, but delicious smoky flavor, and perfectly dressed (not dry, not goopy). The pulled pork sammie was divine, and I could not decide which sauce I enjoyed most. I was dunking the damn thing like a donut. The pork spilling over the substantial pretzel roll definitely made up for the smaller portion of chicken on the salad.

I give both Bitterroot and Caviar five enthusiastic elbows up – and it’s only a matter of time before the siren song of that mac and cheese calls me again. The great news? When it does, I know Caviar will get my delivery to me as soon as humanly possible…and give me updates all along the way.

My Amazing Chance Encounter with Delivery Service Caviar and Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard - Mac & Cheese Chick

 

DISCLAIMER: TryCaviar was kind enough to contact me and offer a $25 credit (essentially, a free lunch) for trying their service and providing an honest review. I was so impressed with the service and their food offerings, I’ll be trying sushi delivery next. Did I mention there are TWO restaurants to choose from? Woo hoo!

 

 

 

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Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese

by Mac & Cheese Chick on September 24, 2014

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Autumn is upon us, and you know what that means? It’s Mac & Cheese weather again! After doing the dance of joy in my kitchen, I decided to go big. Like Dr. Frankenstein, cobble-many-ingredients-together-and-see-what-happens, big.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Not just pasta, but a filled pasta! And one filled with four cheeses, no less. And not just cheese, but silky, nutty, so-deep-it-must-be-a-Philosophy-major, smoky Beecher’s Smoked Flagship cheese. Over the top, yes. And yet, it hits just the right note – like pairing leopard print with hot pink and somehow pulling the whole outfit off. Pull it off, we did. Sublimely so.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Since I was hitting Pike Place Market for some luscious Beecher’s cheese (regular Flagship and Smoked Flagship) I decided to grab my tortellini (cucina fresca Four Cheese Tortellini) there as well. So if you really wanted to, I guess you could call this Pike Place Mac & Cheese.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

I based this recipe on my favorite macaroni & cheese recipe, Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese. It seemed appropriate seeing as how I was using Beecher’s cheeses for this recipe. First thing, gather your ingredients. This recipe is a pretty simple one and allows the subtle flavors to shine through.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Start by cooking your pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Since I used a fresh tortellini, it was done in four minutes. Drain, then set aside.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

While the pasta is cooking, shred your cheeses. If you don’t have Flagship in your store, you can either order it online direct from Beecher’s or substitute a nice sharp Cheddar and another smoked cheese. If you can, take the time to order the Smoked Flagship & Flagship from Beecher’s – the flavor is just outstanding.

In the same pot in which you cooked the tortellini, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and just turning toasty, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, for about two minutes. Add the milk, and continue whisking often until the sauce begins to thicken, about ten minutes.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Once the sauce is thickened, add the chipotle powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt and seasoned pepper. Whisk to combine, then add both cheeses. Remove the pot from heat and stir everything together until the cheeses are melted. Add the tortellini back to the saucy pot, and give everything a good stir.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Done! Now pop that amazing tortellini mac & cheese into a bowl, garnish if you feel like it, and enjoy! Simple, right?

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

How was it? Luscious. Subtly smoky. Everything I’d hoped it would be. Four elbows up, and I’ll be adding it to my regular mac & cheese repertoire. Delicious, and perfect for your Autumn table.

Here is my recipe, loosely based on Beecher’s famous mac & cheese recipe.

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Side
Cuisine: Mac & Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 as a side
 
Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups fat-free milk
  • 8 ounces Beecher's Flagship cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces Beecher's Smoked Flagship cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 10 ounces fresh tortellini
  • parsley for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook tortellini per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same large pot, melt butter. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, for two minutes. Add milk and continue whisking often until sauce begins to thicken (about ten minutes).
  3. Add chipotle powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt and seasoned pepper. Whisk to combine, then add both cheeses. Remove pot from heat and stir until cheeses are melted.
  4. Add tortellini back to the pot and stir to combine.
  5. Serve and scarf down immediately!

 

Smoky Four-Cheese Tortellini Mac & Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Try it, you’ll like it!

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Mac & Cheese Chick Nominated for King 5’s Best of Western Washington, Please Vote!

September 20, 2014

Guys, I have amazing news – we’ve been nominated for King 5’s Best of Western Washington in the Best Food Blog category! You don’t have to live in Seattle or anywhere near it to vote, so I’d love some cross-country and international love. The contest runs through October 24, 2014. I am so excited, and […]

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Field Trip! Station’s Black Truffle Mac & Cheese Gnocchi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

August 29, 2014

We’re in New York City at least twice a year, and in the past few years we’ve been branching out from Manhattan itself. Which is how we ended up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn recently. And conveniently located just outside the subway is Station. Kismet, no? I think so. Since we arrived at around 11:00am on a […]

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Aged White Cheddar

August 22, 2014

If you follow my blog, you already know that the folks at Pirate’s Booty were kind enough to send me four boxes of their new Mac & Cheese to try. This is the third box I’ve tried – three down, one to go! All four varieties of their new mac & cheese line are made with organic pasta (certified organic by […]

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Field Trip! Duck Confit Mac & Cheese at The Blind Rabbit in the Anaheim Packing District

August 15, 2014

Every year, we are down in Orange County (I grew up there – if you call it “The OC” I will upchuck upon you) for an annual conference. And each year, I love getting together with childhood friends and reconnecting. This year, there was a big buzz about the opening of the Anaheim Packing District […]

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Lavender Macaroni & Cheese with Buttered Thyme Breadcrumbs

August 7, 2014

To make a short story long, my parents are moving up to my area soon. That means parental-unit visits on a regular basis, which I LOVE. That also means field trips around the Pacific Northwest, one of which brought us to Garden Treasures, a lovely farm stand operation in Arlington, WA recently. Actually, we’d been […]

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese Mild Cheddar

July 12, 2014

Recently, the good folks at Pirate’s Booty were kind enough to send me four boxes of their new Mac & Cheese to try. All four varieties of their new mac & cheese line are made with organic pasta (certified organic by Oregon Tilth) and ingredients you can actually pronounce. So, of course I was more than happy to give […]

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Product Review: Pirate’s Booty Shells & Cheese Aged White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

June 24, 2014

Recently, I was contacted by the good folks behind the Pirate’s Booty brand. I was aware of their popcorn, but this new offering was right up my alley: Mac & Cheese! And not just one, but four different flavors! All four made with organic pasta (certified organic by Oregon Tilth) and ingredients you can actually […]

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