I’ve come to realize that both my children are quite demanding. Demanding and bossy. Two in the same.
There are times I am grateful that they both have such dominant personalities. They will be leaders someday, using their influence to inspire others…I hope.
And then there are days where demanding and bossy just aren’t so cute. Days like the last three months when Braelyn has been insistent on my making her macaroni and cheese.
“Mom, I thought I told you I wanted macaroni! Aren’t you ever going to make me macaroni?!”
This is her usual response each evening as we sit down to dinner that has been anything but macaroni.
Well, it may have taken three months, but Braelyn’s demands were finally met with this spruced up, grown up (yet still kid friendly) version of mac n’ cheese. Meet my gluten free Little Veggies Gruyere Mac n’ Cheese.
Gruyere? Sounds fancy, eh? I don’t think I have ever tried gruyere until I made this dish. And well, it is fabulous. In fact, I need some more. Must add that to my grocery list.
I also love cheddar, and to me mac n’ cheese is no mac n’ cheese without it. I decided to add some shredded white sharp cheddar cheese to the sauce as well. You could add yellow sharp cheddar, but I really liked the color of the sauce with the combination of white cheeses.
And last but not least, breadcrumbs. I always have some homemade gluten free breadcrumbs on hand. They are so easy to make, and making them ensures that the end pieces of those extremely overpriced loaves of bread get used. The added crunch on top of this creamy dish is a match made in macaroni heaven.
But, if you are in a crunch for time, you can always skip the baking and adding breadcrumbs and eat this dish straight from the pot. Well, at least grab a bowl. You don’t have to be a complete animal.
What foods do you children or family members demand you to make?
- 8 ounces gluten free Barilla elbow macaroni noodles, uncooked
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into pea sized pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup skim milk
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ teaspoon ground mustard
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1½ teaspoons dried)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Dash-1/4 teaspoon pepper, depending on taste
- 1¼ cup shredded gruyere cheese
- ½ cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Heat 2 quarts of salted water to boiling in a pot. Add macaroni and carrots and cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain macaroni and carrots and return to pot with lid, away from heat.
- While pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan add heavy cream, milk, garlic, onion, cayenne, ground mustard, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally*, until mixture reduces by about half. This will take about 6-8 minutes.
- Once reduced, add both cheeses and stir until cheese is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Pour sauce over noodles and carrots. Stir to coat all pasta. Stir in frozen peas. Serve as is, making sure the peas are heated through**, or go on to baking instructions.
- To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer macaroni mixture to ramekins or a casserole dish. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and stir into ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs. Distribute evenly over ramekins or casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until breadcrumbs are crisp and macaroni is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.
**If you are skipping baking and your pasta is not warm enough after pouring sauce over and adding peas, heat macaroni mixture over medium heat and stir until heated through.