September 7, 2011

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese {Crazy Cooking Challenge}


Welcome to the first ever Crazy Cooking Challenge!  I'm thrilled to be participating in this challenge, hosted by and the brain-child of Tina at Mom's Crazy Cooking.

What's the Challenge, you ask?  Well, let me tell ya.

Crazy Cooking Challenge is a group of food bloggers getting together once a month to bring you one featured food item for each month. We will all make this one item, but, of course, we will each make it in our own special way.  Because that's what we do best! - we put our own personal spin on the stuff we make.  Sound fun?  I think so!

So look for us to post our Challenge on the 7th of each month.  And first up - which you probably already figured out by the photo at the start of this post - is macaroni and cheese!  Ahhhhhh, one of my favorites.

Now, the rules of The Challenge are that we can't just make our own personal recipe favorite, or a recipe that we have posted before.  We are to make a new-to-us recipe, or to use a new-to-us method, found somewhere out in blog-land.

When I learned that our first challenge was macaroni and cheese, I immediately thought of a macaroni and cheese recipe posted by one of my favorite bloggers, Nicole at Heat Oven to 350.  I've always made baked macaroni and cheese, but Nicole's recipe is made on the stovetop instead.  Well, that meets the new-to-me method requirement of The Challenge!  So I set to work making Nicole's Simple Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese.

I was drawn to this particular recipe for three reasons:

1.  It was made by Nicole.  I love reading her blog.
2.  It was made on the stovetop instead of baked, like I usually do.
3.  Nicole used Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, made by Cabot Creamery in Cabot, Vermont.  I grew up 20 minutes from Cabot Creamery and am a loyal fan.  After moving to North Carolina, I initially had Cabot cheese shipped to me.  Fortunately, it is now readily available throughout the area so I no longer have to ship.  Yay!

Given my love of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, you will find it very ironic, then, that one of the modifications I made to this recipe is to use Smoked Gouda instead of the cheddar.  That doesn't mean I don't love the original!  I do love it!!!  And highly recommend it.  I just wanted to try a different twist.  And the Smoked Gouda version is fab, too ... If I do say so myself.

The other modification I made to the original recipe is to use cavatappi pasta instead of elbow macaroni.  Cavatappi is a fun twisty-shaped pasta.  See in the picture below?  Doesn't it look fun?

Fun & twisty cavatappi

So, whether you choose to go with the original cheddar-based recipe or this Smoked Gouda version, I think you're in for a treat!  I know I certainly enjoyed both versions!

(By the way ... I made this bowl back in my pottery-throwing days.  I'll get back to pottery someday... someday.)

Stovetop Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
Source:  Adapted from Heat Oven to 350
14 oz. cavatappi pasta (or elbow macaroni)
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz. shredded smoked gouda cheese

1.  In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

2.  While water is coming to a boil for the pasta, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together. Cook for 1 minute. 

3.  Slowly add milk, just a bit at a time, whisking well after each addition until the milk is incorporated. Cook and stir mixture until it thickens, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. 

4.  Drain pasta and toss with cheese sauce. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed.  



  1. Holy smokes! That looks wonderful! Love the twisty pasta and smoked gouda??? Oh man! I'd like some right now, please!

  2. I just love this recipe! I love the use of gouda which I have never tried before but will be now! I also love how you used cavatappi noodles, clever! Thanks for sharing! Adding this to my recipe box now! :)

  3. Your Mac N Cheese looks really good, it is a great recipe! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing!
    Miz Helen

  4. oo Mac and Cheese with Gouda, sounds so fancy! bet it was wonderful!

    Stopping by from the MACARONI & CHEESE Linky Party through Moms Crazy Cooking

  5. Can you believe I have never made homemade mac & cheese? :O Looks like this recipe could change things!
    I found your blog at the Freshman Friday Party ar Home Savvy A to Z :) I'm over there hopping with ya too!

  6. Love those noodles!

    Stopping by on my way through the links from Moms Cooking Challenge!

  7. Gouda and easy, a wonderful combination!

    My Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Velvety Mac & Cheese.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. Hi I found your blog on the crazy cooking challenge. You have a great blog looks so yummy :) Check out my food blog

  9. This looks amazing! I wouldn't have thought to use smoked gouda but I can just imagine what an elegant flavor it gives, especially with the fun noodles. Genius ideas. I'm so flattered that you used my mac and cheese as a base. It's still one of the most requested dishes from my husband.

    PS - I'm so glad you still gave a shout out to Cabot cheese even though you aren't using it. It's good stuff. :)

  10. I'm digging the gouda! I love it's complexity and I am sure it lends itself well to this favorite dish of mine. :)

  11. Mmmm... your recipe sounds very, very gouda! This was my first time joining the CCC - I had a great time. Hope you'll stop by for a visit.


  12. Those noodles are SO cool! And I have never had Cabot cheese, I guess I will have to now! Thanks for joining CCC, I can't wait for next month, Chocolate Chip Cookies, YEA!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Did I forget to mention that I LOOOVE Cabot cheese? Well, I do :)

  15. I love Gouda and this sounds like an awesome mac-n-cheese!
    Come see mine at

  16. Mmm...smoked gouda sounds great in mac n cheese!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

    Come check out my CCC post:

  17. I love that blog too! And I love cavatappi pasta... it's super cute and fun. Great decision to use gouda instead. YUM! Check out my mac and cheese post if you'd like :)

  18. Such a pretty presentation...I love the crock and the twisty pasta. It looks delish.

    Stopping by from the CCC. I'm entry #48.

  19. That sounds so good! I love gouda cheese and haven't had it in forever. I bet it would be fantastic as a side to steak :)

    Stopping by from CCC - #17

  20. Looks good.

    We'd love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

    Have a great weekend.

  21. That looks fabulous. Thanks for inviting me over. We love smoked gouda at our house so I'm sure this would be a hit :)

    The Farm Girl

  22. Thank you so much for stopping by Concetta's Cafe! I love your macaroni and cheese with the yummy twists!

    My favorite is Cabot Sharp Cheddar - even better the seriously sharp! We love - love - love Vermont. I grew up in NY, but always traveled through New England. My husband and I lived in Vermont for 2 glorious years and we will be going back to live there in a few years. Our town was Benson right near Lake Champlain on NY's border.

    I am looking forward to visitng you again soon!

  23. You totally win because:

    1) no nasty breadcrumbs.

    2) smoked gouda.

    3) cavatappi = awesome.


  24. So much mac & cheese, so little time! Your version with smoked gouda sounds amazing! Thanks for being a Cabot fan and supporting our farmer owners!

    Wendy @ Cabot

  25. Hmm, pretty interesting. :) Will definitely give it a try!

    International Calls to Australia

  26. Looks really appetizing..i have got to go visit our nearest cheese shop and get all the necessary ingredients for this amazing recipe..thanks for sharing!

  27. Looks scrumptious! All it needs is a little bit of bacon crumbles on top.

  28. I had to improvise as I was craving Mac n cheese and only had regular Gouda and cheddar jack cheese, it was delicious! My 18 month and 5 year old ate it up too!

  29. This looks awesome! Great pictures and blog :)

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