Cheddar with Port Wine and Fontina Mac and Cheese Recipe

Introduction

Much like yesterday’s cheddar with whiskey mac and cheese, this mac and cheese recipe has so many dimensions. Cheddar with port wine and fontina blend together in a mac and cheese that is creamy, flavorful, and not your traditional mac and cheese fare.

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Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese

When you take a bite of a piece of cheese, pay attention to when the flavor hits you. Sometimes the cheesiness comes out immediately but fades just as quick. These are what I call opener cheeses, and they’re great to start out a bowl of mac and cheese. Other cheeses take a few seconds to develop, but carry throughout the end of the bite. These are closer cheeses. Well-rounded mac and cheese will make use of both opener and closer flavors.

Cheddar with Port Wine

It’s almost a shame you have to melt this pretty cheese in order to make a mac and cheese, but then we’d miss out on this great mac and cheese. It’s a white cheese with veins of pinky purple throughout. But the flavor is another level. This is a closer cheese with a wine finish that will pair beautifully with a variety of opener cheeses.

Fontina

Fontina is a great opener cheese. It has more of a mellow flavor, allowing other cheeses to shine, but it definitely isn’t one to bypass in the cheese section. It’s creamy and melts beautifully with opener flavors that aid in making a beautiful mac and cheese.

Rotini in Cheddar with Port wine and Fontina mac and cheese

You have to strike the right balance when choosing a pasta vehicle for mac and cheese. If your pasta is too large, your dish will be annoying and difficult to eat. On the other end of the spectrum, If your pasta is too small you run the risk of your dish becoming a soupy mess. Beginner mac and cheese chefs especially should avoid small noodles because they’ll more easily show defects in your sauce.

Toppings

Good mac and cheese can only go so far, but can be elevated to greatness by adding the right balance of toppings.

However, I wanted to highlight the interest in this cheese by topping it with southwest flavored mini croutons. They add interesting texture that you wouldn’t otherwise have in the dish.

Reheating Cheddar with port wine and Fontina mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is notoriously hard to reheat. You have to eat it that day or you’ll wind up with a gross greasy mess. However, roux based mac and cheese like this recipe reheat so well. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have fantastic mac and cheese. In fact, if you give your ingredients a few days to mingle together in the fridge you’ll have even better mac and cheese than the day of.

Add a Fork

Cheddar with port wine blends beautifully with fontina in a delicious, creamy mac and cheese that is packed with flavor.

Cheddar with Port Wine and Fontina Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pound Rotini Or other medium sized pasta
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • ½ Tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 3 Cups Whole milk
  • 4 Oz Cheddar with Port wine Grated fresh
  • 4 Oz Fontina Grated fresh
  • Salt To taste
  • pepper To taste
  • Southwest mini croutons

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions in well salted water. If you think it’s salty enough, add more.

Prepare the Sauce

  • Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
  • Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
  • Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined. Stir in mustard powder and Better than Bullion
  • Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil. You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
  • Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
  • Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Combine the pasta and sauce.

Plate Your Mac and Cheese

  • Layer pasta with mini croutons. Serve immediately.
Keyword cheddar with port wine, fontina, mini crouton shaker, rotini