Going out to dinner??? Order the Cheese Tray and make a 3 Cheese Artisan Macaroni and Cheese

I am going to give a recipe, but really, this is more of a technique post. But not even technique, as much as a get bang for your buck post.

Recently, Jackie and I went out for a rare night on the town. Fancy Schmancy. Whenever I get a chance, I will always order an artisan cheese plate. Some places offer one for an appetizer course, salad course or dessert course. Doesn’t matter, I will order one. I would rather have a fancy cheese plate than just about anything else offered for those courses.

This is the cheese plate I received. Sadly, the cheeses change every night, so the menu does not list them. I was enjoying the night out, and did not make notes when the cheeses were explained, but I know there was a goat, a cheddar and something from Switzerland (but it was not swiss cheese). They were all excellent. And a real bargain, as there was so much, I took at least half home, knowing I would be having macaroni and cheese for lunch!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. I have over 400 posts up in my blogging career. But I have never done a Mac and cheese post but I make one at least a couple times a month. My problem is I view mac and cheese as a left over dish. It is never the same ingredients, never the same recipe twice, but always satisfying … I CAN COOK THAT! Anyone can!!! And anyone can make a winner…

There really is not much of a recipe, other than cheese coating macaroni. But there are a few things I do to kick it up a notch…

First I make a rough…3 TBS Butter, 3 TBS Flour
I stir the rough for about 5 minutes under medium low heat.
I dice up a small red onion and add it to the rough.
I add a cup of milk.

now it’s time to add the cheese. Always best to only add a soft easy melting cheese. Avoid the hard cheeses. They just don’t melt well.

But the goat, cheddar and not swiss cheeses all melted perfect!

I considered doing a snooty post labeling this Artisan Three Cheese Mac and Cheese. Doesn’t that sound fancy? But truth is I only had enough of each to make about 6 ounces total cheese. If I had 6 ounces of one cheese, I probably would have used only one cheese.

BUT, I had two ounces of three cheeses, so here is my Artisan Three Cheese Mac and Cheese… Just like I planned.

OK, cook the Macaroni al dente. Meaning, just cook to barely done, still a little tough. I like using shells for the pasta, I think they hold the cheese better and just make a more dynamic presentation. Elbow or Penni pasta works as well (or whatever you have in the pantry. I have even made this with spaghetti).

Mix the cheese sauce and the Macaroni and pour into a baking dish.

I like to add some seasoned panko bread crumbs on the top for color and texture.

Bake at 350 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes…

It’s just a way to use left overs. You can change the cheese and have a dramatically different dish. Change the pasta and it;s a different look.

But bottom line… it’s always good!

Next time you get to go to a Fancy Schmancy restaurant… Order the cheese tray and plan on lunch tomorrow. Takes a little of the bite of the cost of the meal out.


Mac and cheese is one of those great versatile foods that can be made plain and simple or all kinds of ways to fancy it up. It’s one of those things on my menu plans at least once a month but almost always a totally different dish. Great job Dave 🙂