Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Un-Classic Mac and Cheese - and - It’s Gluten Free

I really love aged white cheddar and sharp cheddar cheese so much that I tend to buy too much to eat within a week or two.  So I end up with bits and pieces of frozen cheese waiting to be used in different dishes.
Sometimes it’s potato casserole and sometimes it’s been cheese rolls or scones.

Today has been a rainy, cold and depressing day, so I needed to just bake something.
I didn’t need to make more cookies, because I baked my dozen’s allowance on Saturday past.  Also in the past week, I made apple muffins.

I thought of making a buttermilk pie, but had no buttermilk.  Being that it was rainy, I just did not want to get street splash on my recently cleaned vehicle .

There was a can of evaporated milk sitting on the counter that was supposed to be used in a cake I was also contemplating making. 

The light bulb went off that I had not made mac and cheese in a very long time  AND I had enough cheese to make a potluck-sized dish of mac and cheese!

Since I tend to make too large a quantity of food, I had to rethink how much to make.

So, I measured the cheese and returned the remainder to the freezer.  I was thinking about adding a little cayenne pepper when I realized that one of the cheeses was jalapeno.  So, no additional cayenne!  I have always added a little cinnamon and sugar to my mac and cheese, so I included it this time too.

As soon as it came out of the oven, I dished up some.  Oh yes, it is as I remember as I made it.

 It’s not the mac and cheese that I ate so many years ago that my family and friends made, but  I like my version because it is a bit creamier.  Of course after it sits for a while the pasta will soak up the extra creaminess.   Even then, it is not as dry as the old style mac and cheese.

There is a hint of pepper in this version of mac and cheese.   It is not overwhelming, just an interesting touch.

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Just from the oven B

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese

1 12 oz. can can evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch (or tapioca or potato starch)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 pinch garlic or onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 oz. Aged Cheddar cheese, shredded (any mix, like garlic, jalapeno, etc.)
6 oz. Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow Pasta
2 ounces Mexican 4-cheese Blend, shredded cheese (or other mix)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 2 qt baking dish with oil spray.
Cook pasta according to package to al dente and drain.
Whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside
Put butter and milk in a medium sized pot large enough to hold the milk and cooked pasta.  Turn heat to medium.  Whisk in salt, black pepper, cinnamon, sugar, cornstarch water and cheese until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. 
Stir in the drained cooked pasta

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - mixing mac into cheese sauce B

 Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Ready for topping B

Top with cheese reserved for topping.  

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Topped with a bit more cheese B

Bake for about 35 minutes until bubbly and top is lightly browned.  To quicken the browning, switch the oven to low broil for about 10 minutes.

Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Just from the oven - sampled B

Serve immediately.

 Un-Classic Mac N Cheese - Served B


Servings: 6
Yield: 6 sides

Nutrition Facts - as prepared
Nutrition (per serving): 270 calories, 14.9g total fat, 4.2g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 9.2g saturated fat, 49.1mg cholesterol, 20.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 20.1g net carbohydrates, 7.2g sugar, 0mg stigmasterol, <1g fructose, 0g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, <1g maltose, 262.4mg sodium, 249.2mg potassium, 12.5g protein, 412.3mg calcium, 451.5IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 1.2mg vitamin c, 2.3IU vitamin d, <1mg vitamin e, 1.3mcg vitamin k, <1mg iron, <1g lysine, 5.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 1.5mg zinc.


  1. I didn't appreciate Macaroni and Cheese until I was an adult...couldn't stand it when I was a child. Weird, eh? I blame the nuns. Your version looks really good. I haven't heard about putting cinnamon in, but I'll try that in my next batch...my dad used to put nutmeg in anything creamy.

  2. I LOVE mac and cheese... never thought of making it at home. I guess its one of those things you enjoy in a certain restaurant (Panera, kids menu) and never think of trying at home. Love your recipe and I plan to try it this weekend as I have my little nephew coming over :) I'm sure he'll love it!