There was a debate over thanksgiving with my family about, “Is it possible to make a brie Mac & cheese?”. I said, “Of course it’s possible!”. Yet despite my response, my husband and brother thought the idea was just bonkers. I’ve never put brie in mac and cheese but the idea sparked a fire inside me. “I’ll show them!”, I said silently inside my head. Brie is such a mellow creamy cheese that is amazing when heated up or baked in the oven. So I instantly knew it would pair wonderfully with pasta!
When preparing my grocery list for this dish I put together a list of cheese I thought would marry together perfectly for the cheese sauce. On my list I put fontina, brie, havarti, white cheddar, gruyere and cream cheese. I went to the store and unfortunate they were out of sharp white cheddar and gruyere so I decided on the other four cheeses. The havarti and cream cheese add another creamy mellow element alongside the brie. Plus the fontina adds a nutty and noticeable layer of flavor. All together, the 4 cheeses are a match made in heaven.
Mac & cheese is one of those dishes I don’t think you can mess up. Cheese on top of cheese on top of cheese…I mean how can you go wrong with that? If you’re a first time Mac & cheese maker, I definitely recommend this recipe. It’s a little more off beat compared to your typical cheedar cheese version. This recipe will impress anyone and leave everyone guessing “what is in this wonderful dish?”
Needless to say, my non-believer of a husband had two portions of this Mac and cheese last night. He was astounded by the different variety of cheeses I used. The creamy brie, havarti, fontina, and cream cheese sauce had him going back for more and more. This recipe is a keeper in our kitchen!
4 CHEESE BRIE MAC & CHEESE
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 box cavatappi pasta
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a press
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2.5 cups whole milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 8.8 oz. Brie round, rind removed and cut into chunks
- 1 cup havarti cheese, grated
- 1 cup fontina cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature and cut to chunks
- 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 dash ground mustard powder
FOR CRACKER TOPPING:
- 1/2 sleeve ritz crackers, smashed into a crumble
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley
FOR CRACKER TOPPING:
- In a cast iron skillet or pan, add 2 tbsp butter on medium high heat. Melt the butter and add in crumbled ritz crackers, salt and dried parsley. Cook while stirring every 45 seconds till the crackers are golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
FOR MAC & CHEESE:
- In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain (do not rinse) and set aside.
- Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add in butter and garlic. Cook for 40 seconds, or until garlic is aromatic. Be careful to not burn the garlic. Add in flour and cook for an additional 90 seconds.
- Add in milk and heavy cream. Bring to a soft boil while stirring with a whisk (should take about 2-3 minutes/ during this time the mixture will thicken significantly). Slowly add in the 4 different cheese. Stir occasionally with a whisk while the cheese melts.
- Once cheese is melted completely, add in salt to taste, red pepper flakes, black pepper and mustard powder.
- Add in the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix together.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of the toasted ritz crackers.