Mac’s Cheese with Mustard Micro Greens
Yes, it’s mostly mac and cheese...but definitely don’t discount the delicious impact of a small amount of those tiny greens. This recipe is a personalized fusion of a few favorites as well as a rare opportunity to work in a nickname (based on my middle name and used only by a select few)...Mac.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move to the good stuff...the good eats. Cheesy carbs? Always a yes. It took absolutely no convincing to cook up this cooler weather/fall favorite in a GRIZZLY cast iron skillet. Worth mentioning - this recipe filled our 12” cast iron skillet, perfectly.
Okay, here we go…
- 1lb of cooked pasta (big fan of macaroni but other smaller noodles work equally well).
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour (we used GF flour)
- 2 cups reduced fat milk (whole milk if you like the richer the better, approach).
- ½ cup half and half (or heavy cream).
- 8 oz fontina cheese, freshly grated
- 4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 2 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 2 oz pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated (Locatelli if you can get it!)
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup of panko bread crumbs (we used GF panko)
- 2 tbsp fine breadcrumbs (we made our own GF breadcrumbs and it’s so easy- details below)
- Handful of mustard micro greens (if you can get them...they are sooo worth it!)
It was really easy to swap in Gluten Free macaroni, panko and fine bread crumbs. None of the non GF taste testers even knew! While GF fine bread crumbs are probably available, it was so easy to grab a couple slices of GF bread, toast them and pop them into the food processor for 15 seconds. Voila!
You can also take liberty with add-ins and and-ons! This is a skillet dish that’s a mighty tasty meal all by itself but it’s also the perfect base to add seasonal veggies, extra spices, smoked meats (BACON) or to top with seared chicken, shrimp or steak. Have fun making it your own! As pictured and noted above, we topped our Mac’s Cheese with mustard micro greens from a local farm in neighboring SC. We think it made the most flavorful & balanced combo. These greens are zesty...they’ve got bite...a real sweet-hot mustard situation. You won’t be disappointed with them. If it helps to sway you, these small green goodies are full of antioxidants and considered a serious superfood. Try ‘em.
- Cook pasta, strain and set aside
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- While the oven is preheating, grate the fontina, cheddar, parmesan and pecorino romano and set aside
- Heat GRIZZLY 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat
- Add the butter. Once it’s sizzling, whisk in the flour to create a roux and cook until it’s a light golden brown (about one minute).
- Pour the milk and cream in slowly, while continuously whisking and stirring and cook until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Using a spoon, stir in the fontina, cheddar, parmesan and pecorino romano, stirring until the cheese is melted.
- Stir in the nutmeg (you can add black pepper to taste and a pinch of salt).
- Once the nutmeg is mixed in well, carefully add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the cheese sauce until well coated.
- Add the panko and fine breadcrumbs over the top of the cheesy pasta
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Sprinkle a healthy handful of mustard micro greens over the top of the mac and cheese before serving.