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August 2018
« Mar    

Mac and Cheese (Béchamel Cheese Sauce)

I had a hankering for some homemade goodness of the cheesy verity so I made Mac and cheese!  I knew Shae wouldn’t eat it if it was regular macaroni so I made it with the whole wheat stuff because it is so much healthier for you /end sarcasm.  Feel free to make it with regular macaroni if you prefer.  I went the direction for a béchamel cream sauce as my base (some make a custard base) to make my cheese sauce and boy was it good!

Don’t get scared off by the fancy French term, béchamel is just a white cream sauce made from a light roux (damn those French terms) plus some cream of some sort and is considered to be one of the five “Mother Sauces” and is a basic building block for making tons of other sauces.  More on sauces and roux later but for now let’s get cheesy!

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked macaroni (whole wheat)
  • 1 Tbls. flour
  • 1 Tbls. butter
  • 1 cups milk (2%) room temp
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup or more gruyere cheese shredded
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • Bread crumbs
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350d F

Bring water to a boil, salt water and cook macaroni per instructions on the box, cook till al dente.


this is a litte roux cooking for a wee bit

Meanwhile let’s get the béchamel going starting with the roux, in a pan over low heat melt butter and add the flour to it whisking it together cook for a few minutes so the flour taste is cooked out.  Not too long because we want a “light roux”.  When it comes together and is all bubbly good and the milk slowly to the mix whisking the whole time to keep lumps from forming.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and continue to whisk till it has reduces slightly 5 minutes.  This is now what is called béchamel!  You can do a ton of stuff with it now but we want a cheese sauce so start adding the cheese one handful at a time whisking it in until melted and smooth, repeat until all the cheese is incorporated. 

cheese sauce

melting cheese in bechamel

Put macaroni into a baking dish, pour cheesy sauce over, add salt and pepper as needed, cover with bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly in the middle.  Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

cheese sauce

cheesy goodness

mac n cheese

yummy cheesy goodnes

Cook’s Note: Other good melty cheeses to try would be comté or fontina in place/along with gruyere.

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