Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Petit Frère
Easy Brie-zy Mac ’n Cheese Parfaits
Makes 10 parfaits
1 pound whole wheat rotini
2 8-ounce rounds Wisconsin Petit Frère
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups shitake mushrooms, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cooking sherry (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Prepare your cheese by trimming off the rinds and chopping into small pieces. Add 1 tablespoon butter to a large skillet and sauté mushrooms over medium high heat until they begin to brown. Remove from skillet, add olive oil and sauté spinach and garlic until garlic is fragrant and spinach is wilted.
To make cheese sauce, add milk and flour to a small pot and stir over medium heat until milk slightly thickens. Add salt and nutmeg and stir in sherry, if using. Remove thickened milk from heat and stir in cheese until thick and melted. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.
To assemble parfaits, put some pasta in the bottom of a martini glass (or a stemless wine glass, shot glass or kid-friendly glass). Top with greens, then mushrooms and finally garnish with toasted walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature at a cocktail party or as a fun way for kids to enjoy mac and cheese. You may have leftover pasta to have for lunch the next day.
If you’re the casserole type, skip the martini glass and mix the cheese sauce and pasta with the veggies and walnuts in a big bowl. Pour into a 2.75 quart casserole dish and top with 1 cup bread crumbs of your choice. Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until bread crumbs are brown. Tick tock, tick tock.
Serve with a bright green salad – and dive in!
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Macaroni & Cheese, Petit Frère, Recipe, Wisconsin Cheese
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