WMMB Launches 4th Annual Macaroni & Cheese Blog Featuring New Recipes from Top Food Bloggers

WMMB Launches 4th Annual Macaroni & Cheese Blog Featuring New Recipes from Top Food Bloggers

How many possible Macaroni & Cheese variations are there? The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) is determined to find out. For the fourth year in a row, WMMB has invited 30 of the country’s top food bloggers to create new variations for the “30 Days, 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese” blog.

The blog re-launches on Jan. 20 in celebration of National Cheese Lover’s Day. The site offers a new blogger-created recipe each day for 30 days. The blog now includes more than 100 Macaroni & Cheese recipes in a variety of categories: easy, gourmet, spicy and vegetarian. There is even a section devoted solely to Macaroni & Cheese recipes with bacon.

This year, many bloggers will be putting an innovative spin on Macaroni & Cheese with recipes that feature flavors inspired by other classic dishes.
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Here’s a sampling of this year’s recipes:

Monte Cristo Mac and Cheese Nuggets from Take a Megabite are bite-sized nuggets of fried macaroni and cheese with Wisconsin Gruyere, turkey and crispy prosciutto served with raspberry jam.
Dinner or Dessert goes big with a Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese featuring Wisconsin Cheddar, smoked red onions and a topping of Texas toast crumble.
Country Cleaver starts things off with Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese. This recipe rivals its namesake dip in creamy deliciousness with Havarti and Parmesan cheese.

Visit www.30Days30WaysMacAndCheese.com for 30 tasty recipes, gorgeous photos and more.

See photo of the Monte Cristo Mac and Cheese Nuggets by Take a Megabite. For more information, photos or recipes, please contact Joanna Miller, jmiller@stephanbrady.com or 773-661-9950. For more information about Wisconsin Cheese, contact Heather Porter Engwall at hporterengwall@wmmb.org or 608-203-7235.

Monte Cristo Mac and Cheese Nuggets

By Take a Megabite, courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
WMMB Monte Cristo MacCheese photo
Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the mac and cheese:

3 cups uncooked pasta, such as rigatoni, macaroni, or penne

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan

6 tablespoons flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup sour cream

Heaping 1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon garlic mustard or Dijon

1 teaspoon dried minced onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper
WMMB cheese logo
Pinch red pepper flakes

1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese, shredded

1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Gouda Cheese, shredded

3 strips prosciutto, crisped in hot iron skillet and chopped

For frying:

1 quart vegetable oil

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 12-ounce jar raspberry jam

Powdered sugar, for garnish

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8-inch square baking dish.

In pot used to cook pasta, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour; stir until combined. Add milk and cook until thickened. Add sour cream, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and spices. When thoroughly mixed, add Gruyere and Gouda. Remove from heat and stir until all of cheese is melted. Adjust spices according to taste.

Mix in prosciutto. Pour into prepared pan and smooth until even. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven until 350°F using candy thermometer. Meanwhile, divide flour, eggs, and panko into three separate bowls. Slice cold mac and cheese into 24 rectangles, about 1-inch wide and 3-inches long. Dredge slices in flour, then egg, then panko. Set aside until oil is hot.

Fry mac and cheese nuggets for 3-4 minutes in hot oil, until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet. Continue until all nuggets are fried. Allow to cool slightly, then serve with raspberry jam and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

By Dinner or Dessert, courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Serves 6

Ingredients:

12 ounces dried pasta (I used pasta shells)

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons barbeque sauce

3 cups (12 ounces) Wisconsin Aged Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese, shredded

2 pounds smoked pork shoulder, pulled (store bought or homemade*)

4 pieces Texas toast, cooked according to package and crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat large pot over medium-low heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter, olive oil, onion, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown in color and caramelized. Increase heat to medium and stir in flour and remaining butter; whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes to create a roux.

Add milk and barbeque sauce, whisking constantly, cook 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to medium-low, add shredded cheese. Continue to stir until sauce is creamy and cheese has melted. Stir in pasta, followed by pulled pork. Transfer mac and cheese to oven safe baking dish and sprinkle with Texas toast crumbles. Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

To reheat, add a few tablespoons of milk, stir and warm.

*To make pork at home, put seasoned pork in large roasting pan, cover with foil and roast at 300°F until the meat is falling off the bone, about 5 to 6 hours. Cool until warm enough to handle, about 1 hour. Once cooled, shred the pork by hand into 2-inch lengths.

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

By Country Clever, courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 6-ounce bag fresh spinach*

1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, roughly chopped, and divided

4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened

1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, shredded and divided

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced and divided

1 12-ounce box whole wheat penne pasta

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) medium Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Havarti Cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon Sriacha sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

If using fresh spinach, heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat, add spinach and wilt. Remove to plate to cool. Squeeze excess water from spinach. Set aside.

In small bowl, combine half of drained spinach and half of chopped artichoke hearts. Stir in softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese. Stir in shallots and 1 tablespoon garlic. Pour mixture into oven-safe baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture is toasted on top and heated through. Remove from oven; cover to keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. In medium pot, melt butter and whisk in flour. Continue whisking vigorously over medium high heat until roux becomes golden brown.

Add milk slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking during each addition. Bring mixture to boil. Add mustard, pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic, remaining cheeses and Sriacha sauce. Stir in reserved spinach and artichokes, mixing until evenly incorporated.

Pour pasta into cheese mixture; mix to ensure all pasta is coated evenly. Plate and top with a generous spoonful of warm spinach and artichoke mixture. Serve and devour.

*1 9-ounce package frozen spinach may be substituted for fresh. Thaw and drain spinach, squeezing to remove excess liquid.

01.21.2013