- 2/3 pound Andouille Sausage
- 1/2 cup diced Sweet Onion
- 1/2 cup diced Bell Pepper
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 1/4 cup Flour
- 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2/3 cup Milk
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese Curds
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack
- 1/3 cup crème fraîchecan substitute with sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun SeasoningsI use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. It makes me sneeze like crazy but it is so good!
- 2 cups Elbow Noodlescooked
- 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
Who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese? Growing up I believe it was a staple in our house. I don’t remember how frequently it ended up on the table, but I do know that all five of us had no issues when it was served. Fast forward 30 years; I will still eat it but only if Bob makes it because I have refused to cook dinner. It is not the macaroni and cheese that I prefer.
When macaroni and cheese hits our table I want people to understand that is it just that, macaroni AND CHEESE. You know that perfect grilled cheese sandwich you had a while back. The one where when you bit into it and pulled back you had strings of cheese still connected to the sandwich and/or cheese oozing out of the sandwich onto the plate? That’s exactly what the experience should have when you take that first bite of macaroni and cheese. That was a goal I set for myself to achieve and not only did I achieve it, I massacred it.
This macaroni and cheese is rich, creamy, oozy, meaty, thick and hearty (Say that four times fast). This recipe is not even close to your traditional cheddar cheese recipe. It’s loaded with cheese curds and crème fraîche (I buy both at my local Sprouts market) along with your other more traditional ingredients.
It starts by making a roux. If you’ve never made one before do not be intimidated. A roux is a mixture of flour and butter that will be the used as the part of the thickening agent for, in this case, macaroni and cheese. The butter in the roux will also make your macaroni and cheese rich and flavorful. By starting with a basic roux you will avoid having lumps of flour when you are finished making this recipe.
Brown sausage in a large pan. When the sausage is nearly cooked through add diced onions and bell peppers. Stir frequently until all the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables have softened up.
****Alternate cook method for the onions **** - Caramelize them by slow & low cooking on the stove top in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter until they're translucent and browned (15-30 minutes).
Drain all the fat off sausage and vegetable in a colander and return the pan to the stove
*** SUGGESTION *** Start cooking your noodles now!
With the heat on medium low, add the butter. When it has melted add 1/4 cup of flour stirring until the flour has absorbed all the butter and the blended ingredients resemble a pale gold paste. Do not stop stirring as this can burn.
That is how easy Roux is.
With the stove on a medium head add whipping cream, milk and crème fraîche stirring constantly to blend the all the ingredients together. The roux should start to loosen and the mixture should start to thicken.
When this happens add all the shredded cheeses (one at a time), stirring until everything has melted and (gasp) you start to see cheese strings! Add cajun seasoning and salt and pepper if desired.
Add cooked andouille sausage, bell peppers and onions to the cheese mixture.
Drain noodles in the colander then add to the cheese/meat sauce. Transfer into a serving dish(s) that is oven safe if you decide to complete the last step.
You can serve the OMG Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese just like this or....
Panko Topping (Optional)