Okay, I didn’t know about Beecher’s Handmade Cheese until I’d watched an episode of Foodcrafters on the Food Network (it’s been more than a month and yes, it’s still my favorite TV channel :-) ). In that episode, they’d showcased the mac & cheese made by the cheese shop in Seattle.
Now, I like macaroni and I do love cheese, but I’ve never been able to find a ready-made mac & cheese from the stores that was … eh … nice … you know what I mean? Sometimes they tasted too “cheesy”, and oftentimes they tasted kinda artificial, leaving a strange aftertaste on the tongue and in the back of the throat.
And sadly, I didn’t try to make homemade mac & cheese, mostly because I was so disappointed with & disillusioned by those store-bought ready-made ones.
But there I was, watching Kurt Beecher Dammeier prepare a batch of his famous mac & cheese and describe how his mac & cheese (or rather penne & cheese, as he uses penne instead of macaroni) became so popular that it became called the “world’s best” by his customers.
So, I was intriqued about trying mac & cheese again, this time following Kurt’s recipe.
Now, sadly, I didn’t have the 2 cheeses called for in Kurt’s recipe: Beechers Flagship Cheese and Just Jack Cheese. I could try ordering them online from Beecher’s, but as I was eager and impatient to try the recipe, I decided to substitute Beecher’s cheeses with a good aged cheddar and some pre-sliced Monterey Jack.
Even though I may have conceivably used cheeses inferior to Beecher’s, I was still able to turn out the best mac & cheese I’d ever tasted!
The dish had the right amount of cheese … not too overpowering like the store-bought ready-made kind … while the chili & garlic powders were not overpowering, giving a more rounded taste to the sauce. And the penne really provided a great platform for the cheese sauce to cling to.
If you want to try your hand at making Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese, here’s the recipe …