To me, fall = comfort foods.
And as there were some nights it was downright chilly last week, I think I can say that fall has arrived here in Chicagoland, so I started the process of trying to convert old fall favorites to gluten-free creations.
This is a tweak on a quick mac & cheese recipe I used to use back in the pre-GF days. I got it from a Weight Watchers cookbook ... then promptly subbed in things that were full fat:) This dish is not for the dairy-leery, and I wouldn't recommend feasting on it too often, but for a night when you want a fast-ish dinner, heavy on comfort but light on effort, it really hits the spot.
For this recipe (and I use the term loosely), you will need:
1 box of your fave GF pasta
(we love Schar fusilli pasta, because it holds up well)
1 small can of condensed milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar
(or if you want it cheesier, add more)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of any combination of "softer" cheese
(we used mozzarella and colby jack, for some flavor)
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Go ahead and get your pasta cooking according to box directions. You want to make sure you leave it a tiny bit al dente, especially if you are planning to have some leftover to reheat for lunch the next day.
Once you get your noodles in the water, start heating up your milk on the stove, over low heat so you don't get it all scaldy. If you heat it too fast or too hot, it will taste like feet, and no one wants that. Once it's heating up, sprinkle in a little dash of cayenne, and then start adding your cheeses. It's important to keep your cheese sauce moving, so once you put that first handful in, keep your whisk busy. Add the cheese about a quarter or half cup at a time, whisking through the whole process.
When your noodles are done, drain them and return them to the pot, then pour in your cheese sauce, SLOWLY. You want to make sure it coats, and if the cheese hasn't melted completely, the heat from the noodles should fix that. Be gentle mixing it in, as GF noodles are a little more fragile than their wheaty counterparts.
Final step? Dig in. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could put your creation in a casserole dish, throw some GF bread crumbs and Parmesan on top and bake for a bit, but I prefer to eat it like this. It's sort of like a better-quality version of boxed mac and cheese, and it's a great way to use any odds and ends of leftover cheeses you have lying around. You can use just about any combination you like, so get creative. This also reheats REALLY well, so it's the perfect thing for someone like me who is bad at lunch planning. And if you wanted to make it slightly less coronary-inducing, you can always sub in fat free condensed milk and lower fat cheese.