Friday, January 13, 2012

gluten free... mac and cheese me, please!

i can only remember one time when my mom made homemade mac and cheese...  she used a recipe from my brother's god father's mother who was a school lunch lady.  i think we had it at party and my mom asked for the recipe because we ate it and really liked it.  NOT so much when my mom made it at home.  we were very happy "blue box" mac and cheese kids.

i remember when i started to go gluten free having a panic attack over never being able to eat "blue box" mac and cheese again.  i tried a couple gluten free dairy free boxes and they just plain sucked.  until i found annie's gluten free rice pasta mac and cheese (and trader joe's has a good rice pasta and cheese too.)

last friday at lunch one of the girls was eating homemade mac and cheese, we had a whole discussion about how its not hard to make and is really good homemade.  i told them my homemade mac and cheese story and vowed to make my own delicious gluten free version.  

it went something like this:

the other night at stop and shop i found a package of shredded cheese that was labeled "mac and cheese" blend!  (i recommend reading the package while you're at the store so you buy the right ingredients.  there is a recipe right on the package, duh.)

to make my mac and cheese gluten free i only really had to substitute a couple of ingredients.  gluten free pasta obviously... 

instead of "all purpose flour" i had bob's red mill tapicoa flour, it said that it was good for thickening soups and such.  i had never used it in this kind of application before but i figured i had to use something so why not?

other than that and only having half and half in the house for the milk and cream, i followed the recipe pretty much as directed.

i wanted to stick a piece of gluten free bread into the cheese sauce and eat it, just to make sure it was good, but i didn't.

next i got my brand new, never been used target home baking dish ready for action...


i only baked it for 12 minutes.  the directions called for 15 minutes and bubbling cheese.  i really did not want it to dry out so i was a little careful.  also i left my mac and cheese naked... no bread crumbs.  i thought i had some gluten free bread crumbs but i couldn't find any when it came time to top it off.  i wasn't too worried about it, because the "blue box" never came with any bread crumbs.

i literally could not wait to try this!!  it was SO good.  it was like a i died and went to mac and cheese heaven!!  

not pictured:  i added ketchup because i just think it adds something to the mac and cheese, not that it needed it.  i think i would add one less teaspoon of the flour and try some nutmeg next time... and there will be a next time.  i'm not ditching the boxed mac and cheese for good, it still can serve a purpose in the pinch... but this was nothing short of gluten free awesome!