Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food – can we all agree?!
So, you might be wondering why I’ve decided to post a comfort food recipe in the middle of the summer. Well, if you live in Toronto, then you’ll know how rainy this summer has been. I can’t think of a single week that we’ve had consistently good weather. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I actually need more comfort on rainy summer days than during the winter, when we all expect to have bad weather! So, I reserve a bowl of mac and cheese for those especially depressing rainy summer days…and also when I just feel like indulging a little! I mean, I’m usually an 80/20 kind of girl. But, a little (okay, a whole lot of) cheese every now and then is okay, right? Because it’s all about balance!
Eat Your Greens
Brussels sprouts are one of my favourite vegetables. I used to hate them as a kid, but have grown to love them as an adult. I make roasted Brussels sprouts at least a few times per month—usually with bacon or pancetta—and they’re finished in no time (my hubby feels the same way about them as I do)! I especially love when the outer leaves detach and get crispy in the oven. Such a satisfying texture! I’ve made mac and cheese a bunch of times before, but never thought to add Brussels sprouts to it until a couple days ago. It just seemed to make sense; and I’m so glad that I did because this is actually a killer combination and I promise you’ll love it!
A lot of recipes call for blanching the Brussels sprouts or simply cutting and then baking them with the mac and cheese. But, I knew I wanted to roast these babies first. Not only would they add a nicer flavour and texture to the dish, but also colour from the roasting.
Sweet Dreams are Made of Cheese
I also knew that I wanted to make this mac and cheese with 4 distinct types of cheese. Mozzarella is always a classic for mac and cheese and so is cheddar cheese. I had some left over Avonlea Clothbound cheddar cheese from my trio of crostini (you might recall the recipe here). I thought it would be the perfect addition. For the last two cheeses, I decided to let the experts at St. Lawrence Market help me out. I got a Swiss Gruyere and Beemster Graskaas, which is a special Beemster produced in the summertime.
As a matter of personal preference, I don’t like my mac and cheese sauce to be too runny. So I tend to bake a little longer. But, if you prefer a saucier mac and cheese, then you could either add a bit more milk when making the cheese sauce, or you could bake for 5 or 10 minutes less.
Here is the recipe.