Famous Gourmet Mac and Cheese, Artisanal Style…

Well, we survived day one of Fall Break around here. I even made it through the day without hearing, “I’m bored Mom, what are we going to do today that’s fun?!” So, we’re off to a good start!

While in NYC a couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to dine at Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro with 2 nice ladies from Pillsbury, which was a complete treat! The second you step foot into the quaint restaurant, you are overwhelmed with the smell of crazy cheeses. Some may think it stinks, but something about it reminded me of being in Paris even though I’ve never been. The menu was simple yet impressive and had me drooling trying to decide what to order. I ended up ordering a Summer Vegetable Risotto that was seriously incredible. I nearly licked the bowl clean and didn’t care who was watching. I couldn’t have lived with myself had I not ordered a side of mac and cheese. We heard from numerous people that it’s the best around. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Buttery crispy panko bread crumbs on top and cheesy pasta goodness underneath cooked in the cutest individual baking dishes. It was by far one of my favorite mac and cheeses yet.

The best part of this post is Chef Brennan shares and even demonstrates his famous mac and cheese recipe on howdini.com for all of us to enjoy. I ended up making it 2 different times last week and it tastes identical to one I ordered at the restaurant. Talk about hitting the jackpot! Next time you need to impress some guests, break out this recipe and bring a little fine dining to your kitchen tables!



Chef Terrance Brennan’s Gourmet Mac and Cheese

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

7 ½ Tbs Butter, divided

¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Flour

3 Cups milk

2 ¼ Cups gruyere, shredded

½ Cup mascarpone cheese

¾ Cup bread crumbs

¼ Cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated

salt and fresh ground pepper

  1. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and add the elbow macaroni. Cook until it’s al dente, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. While the macaroni is boiling, slowly melt 5 1/2 Tbs of butter over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Add the flour, stirring, cook together for a minute or so. Do not brown the mixture; you want a blonde roux. Add the milk, whisking to avoid lumps. Bring mixture to a boil and continue whisking. Lower heat and simmer for about five minutes until it thickens.
  4. While the milk is simmering, combine 2 Tbs butter and the bread crumbs, and melt together in a separate pan.
  5. Add the Parmesan cheese. This adds another layer of flavor so it’s not one-dimensional. Just cook until the butter is melted. Remove from heat.
  6. When the milk is ready, add the mascarpone cheese. Then add gruyere cheese and whisk it in, and as soon as until it’s melted, remove from the heat. This will happen quickly because the gruyere cheese should be grated and at room temperature.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper and whisk to combine. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce, mix it well, and when it’s nicely incorporated, spoon it out into a cooking dish.

  8. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the top, using your hands to pat it down to make sure it’s nice and evenly dispersed all over the surface. The topping becomes very crunchy when it bakes. Cook for about 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and bubbly.

Enjoy your mac! I’ll be back with more smack, ok I’m totally lame.

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89 Responses
  1. Linda C.

    Couple of questions: how many servings does this recipe make? What size pan did you use? thanks!

  2. Meredith

    I made this last night and it was beyond delicious! My two little ones devoured it and had seconds.

  3. Laurie H

    Do you really only put 1 1/2 cups of macaroni? I ended up puttin more in. It seemed like I had more liquid than pasta.

  4. I discovered this recipe of yours last Thanksgiving and have made it about four times since then (and gained a bit of weight lol).

    I am making it again for an informal mac n cheese contest amongst friends tomorrow and thought I’d let you know how wonderful it is! It has replaced the below recipe as my favorite mac n cheese, thanks so much for sharing it with us all! I can’t wait to dig in tomorrow.

    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/10/cheddar-and-elbows-exalted/

  5. Gwen

    Could you please tell me how to reheat this? I made it last night (with NY strip and asparagus, salad and wine!) but now it’s morning and I NEED some more! Don’t want a goopy oily mess 🙁

  6. I do consider all of the concepts you’ve presented on your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

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  8. HiThere

    I made this today for thanksgiving and honestly i was disappointed. it sounded so amazing but the flavor was so mild as to be almost flavorless. the panko did make it nice and crusty on the top though, which was very nice. i think next time i will just stick to a sharp cheddar mac and cheese recipe.

    1. Gwen

      Maybe you didn’t use a nice strong gruyere? The one I got at Whole Foods cost $12 but was plenty flavorful and the parmesan/panko topping was great.

  9. PheMom

    See! This is why I come here! This looks a bit like my favorite recipe (from Martha) but I think I might like this one better. I’m not even kidding though that this is why I come here – I was JUST in the kitchen looking at the mascarpone in my fridge and trying to decide what I was going to make with it. Yay! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tami

    I made the Mac and Cheese tonight for dinner and it was a thumbs up from all. I used low carb pasta for the hubster (no one knew) and it tasted great!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  11. Jenny

    Hi Tiff,
    I bought mine at Super Target in Gilbert AZ. I had a friend also see them at a Walgreens drug store. Hopefully they’ll get more out. They’d be great for Thanksgiving too!

  12. Tiff Gatten

    Love your blog. Sadly, I can’t find pumpkin kisses anywhere in Utah. What store did you buy them in? My friend even asked a Hershey Rep. He said he’d never seen them to ask you what store because Hershey does promos for stores.

  13. Jenny

    Hi Jamie,
    I hear ya, I wish this dish was a little more economical. You’ll have to save it for a special occasion.

  14. jamie j

    So, it looks and sounds fabulous….but, I was sorely dissapointed when at the store, buying the indredients realized it would cost me $20.00 or more!!! to make. Sorry, but I just can’t do that with 4 kids and a budget.

  15. Meghan

    My mouth is watering over here.
    Ya know, I am only 90 mins from NYC…I see a trip for some of this in my near future!

  16. Dawn

    Oh yes, this is definitely a good kicked up version of mac & cheese.
    I would eat this with a nice cold glass of white wine. Mmmm, that sounds so good right now. Wine and cheese always go so well together.

  17. Potato Chef

    I almost fell down laughing when I read, “Back with more smack”!!

    Mac and Cheese…loved it as a kid.
    Still love it as an adult.

  18. hot garlic

    Oh. My. Gosh. HEAVEN! This looks amazing. It would count as dessert, but may be the one dish I would make an exception for on my rule about that!

  19. Megan

    i’m away at college right now and i have been dying for some of my mom’s mac and cheese. i think i might have her try your recipe next time 🙂 sounds (and looks!) absolutely delicious!

  20. Lucy

    Oooh Jenny, that looks and sounds so mmmmm a real pleaser w/those cheeses. I would have never thought of adding mascarpone cheese… you can bet I will be trying this.. TY

  21. Project Couture Vintage

    Oh Jen, you’ve really outdone yourself…those Halloween foods are SO cute! You’re really so talented!!!

  22. Maris

    Thank you, Chef Brennan 🙂
    I’ve been to Artisinal before, their fondue is soo yummy but I didn’t like the veggies they gave you for dipping.

    Your mac and cheese looks better than any I’ve ever had out. There are some meals that I think are better when other people make for you: sandwiches, pasta, omelets. But then there are some things I’d traditionally only have at home, like pot roast, lasagna and macaroni and cheese (you definitely proved me wrong on the mac and cheese though! 🙂

  23. Satisfying my Sweet Tooth

    homemade mac and cheese is one of my very favorite things and I have been craving it this past week, so I can’t wait to make this tonight for dinner. My kids will be thrilled!

  24. Emily

    Mmmmmmmm! Talk about comfort food! I am going to have to make this!
    It sounds like you had so much fun in NYC!

  25. Jenny

    I totally agree Lore!

    What, boxed mac and cheese only? Bob, you’ve got some work to do!

    I know, I was so excited to hear about the demo Stephanie!

    Me too Nicole,
    The mascarpone is so good inside.

    Thanks Meg!

    Definitely Patsy, you won’t be disappointed!

    Thanks Jamie!

    LOL Stephanie! I’d pig out on a whole dish myself too!

    Yes Katrina! I think my husband may have thrown a fit of the smell, but the food was incredible. Just have you husband order the mac! Have fun in NY, I’m totally jealous!

  26. Katrina

    Looks divine! So if I was going to NY, say next month and have only two lunches and one dinner (maybe it’s two and two) would you say this place is a must go-to? Would my husband think it’s too much (as he calls it) relief society food? Just wondering!

  27. Live.Love.Eat

    How can this be anything less than amazing with gruyere and mascarpone. I am going to have to make this even if it’s to pig out on all by myself. Oh Jenny, YOU complete me 🙂

  28. Patsyk

    I’m going to have to drag my husband into NYC for that restaurant! Yum!

    The mac and cheese looks incredible! Definitely comfort food to go with the cooler temps we have here!

  29. nicole

    This looks like the perfect mac and cheese. I love when there is more then one type of cheese in it. It just makes the dish even creamier.YUM!

  30. Stephanie

    That looks great! How awesome that he demonstrated how to make it and now you can make that great mac n cheese any time you want! That’s really cool.

  31. Jenny

    Hi Cara,
    Yum, let me know how it compares!

    I agree Deborah!

    Hi Allie,
    I agree, it’s great this time of year!

    Thanks Heather!

    Hi Candy,
    I know, I’m starving right now too.

    Thanks Blonde Duck!

  32. Cara

    I am excited to try this! The best mac and cheese I have had is from Zingerman’s Deli, amazing. I can’t wait to see how this compares!

  33. Jenny

    Thanks Bridgett,
    I love a good mac and cheese and this one is fantastic!

    Hi Kerry! It makes me hungry too!! Hope you are doing well!

    I agree Pam!

    Thanks Barbara!

    You’d love it Emily, I’m even craving it for breakfast!

    Thanks Care!

    Hi Rita,
    Yes, I think the mascarpone adds some magic to the recipe, it’s flat out incredible!

    I know Prudy,
    How cool that the recipe is available to all of us!

    Me too Sara!

    Sounds like your grandma was a great cook, super healthy kids!

    LOL Carol! I could only wish I was a poet! Mac is my weakness too!

    Yes Katherine,
    The ultimate comfort food!

    I think you are right Mary, it’s so “in” right now!

    Thanks #’s and Maria!

    Hi Alexandra,
    My pans are actually really small, they just look big in the picture. Aren’t they fun though?

    Hi Mary Ann,
    It’s funny, I still don’t mind the good ol Kraft that my boys eat. But look out when homemade mac comes to the table!

  34. Mary Ann

    I am going to give this a try. Homemade Mac is the best, it seriously makes me wonder how I got the orange stuff down. (No offense to Kraft, but the real thing is so much better). This looks wonderful, thank you for sharing!

  35. Mary

    Jennie, this looks like an incredible recipe. Mac and cheese is now one of the ‘in’ foods. Thanks for sharing!

  36. carol

    My weakness….mac and cheese….and a grown up version to boot? Crispy, creamy, cheesey…I fear I’d have a very hard time controlling myself with this one!
    Can’t wait till you’re back with more smack…hey, you’re a poet-didn’tcha know it? And now I am…yeah right, I’ll keep my day job!!! 🙂

  37. Prudy

    I love coming home from good restaurants and recreating the food. In this case you really had the recipe so no guesswork involved. Bonus!

  38. Clumbsy Cookie

    I NEED to make that soon! Maybe this week! I love it has mascarpone! This must be delicious Jenny! I think adults should eat more mac and cheese!

  39. Care

    I don’t know if it’s the time of night that I am looking at this but I can totally taste it! Way delish! You make life so enjoyable!

  40. Bridgett

    Who wouldn’t love an adult version of mac and cheese? This looks wonderful and comforting. Perfect for fall…or winter! We are in our second week of fall break and so far no one is bored yet. I don’t know how I am getting so lucky, but I won’t question it!

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