WARNING: Do not melt a cheesehead for your mac and cheese as it will curdle. Or I would like to think since there is no proof of a Packer cheesehead ever being melted.

Internet, you have failed me.  Searches for “melted cheese head”, “melting Packer cheesehead”, or “melting morons wearing foam food for a hat” came up with bupkus.  I refuse to believe that no one has ever melted a cheesehead.

Let’s take a step back here.

Am I really talking about melting a Packer cheese head? After five losses in a row, am I really that confident?  Am I predicting a win over the Packers?  Does this mean I am hopeful the Steelers can turn their season around and finish above .500?  Do I believe they can finish 9-7?  Yes, I am and yes, I do.

I mean, it cannot get worse.   [Cue Bill Cosby's early 60's "Worse" routine, a recording of one of his blue-ish shows at the time.]

This week’s Friday Football Foodie was inspired by my friend Amanda, who made her version of the mac & cheese bites for the annual girls movie night sleepover last weekend.  (I ate half of her batch of mac & cheese bites while watching an especially tense scene in TROOP BEVERLY HILLS.)  The dish makes for a solid FFF choice because you can add whatever you want to your mac and cheese to make it heartier and it makes approximately 48 two-bite pieces, which is good when feeding a crowd.

You will need…

Not pictured, flour and paprika. They took too long in hair and make-up to make the shot.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni, al dente
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk

To taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2-1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional
6-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3-4 scallions

or
1 small can of green chilies, drained
1 small jar of pimentos, drained

or
2-3 oz prosciutto, chopped
2-3 oz finely chopped onion

Nothing can ever go wrong with a dish when it starts off melting butter.

Over medium heat, melt your butter and wisk in your flour.   Keep stirring like you would when making a a roux to toast the flour.  Once it has thickened, add the sage and wisk until the oil from the leaves has been released and is bubbly.

I wish white sauces wouldn't make me think of Canterbury Tales every time I make them.

Still whisking, add in your milk and slowly bring to a boil.   Once your milk has stared to boil, add the cheddar and American cheese.  Whisk, whisk, whisk, until melted.  DO NOT turn up the heat to make the process go faster.

I am not going to lie, with so many Steeler losses it really is hard to keep morale up around the FFF kitchen. Don't even get me started on StarterHusband's mood on game days.

Once the cheese is completely melted, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yoke, scallions and paprika.   Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you need to reheat it some, that us fine.  Just do it over gentle, low heat.

Did you remember to cook your pasta?  If not, go ahead throw it into salted boiling water until al dente and drain.  (About five minutes.)

Words.

Fold the elbow noodles into your melted cheese. If you have time, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  If not, reduce baking time in the oven.

Wine is optional. Whining over losing to the Browns, Raider and Chiefs, is not.

Preheat oven to 425º and move your cooking rack to the top 1/3 slot.

Brush mini muffin trays with butter, and lightly coat with grated Parm.   Fill each cup with mac and cheese mix (pack down firmly) and dust the top with more grated Parmesan cheese.

Still not a melted cheesehead.

Bake for about ten minutes (until the cheese is bubbly) and then let cool for five minutes in the tins so the mac & cheese can firm up.   Remove with spoon and serve.

No cocktail this week.  You really shouldn’t drink when you’re this depressed Steeler fans.

Adapted from Food & Wine.

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5 Responses to Friday Football Foodie – Mac & Cheese Bites with Sage and Scallions

  1. IJustMadeThatUp says:

    Also, you can just put the whole darn goodness into a crusette bowl and heating it up the oven. Fantastic mac & cheese.

  2. So when are you going to do some more postings.

  3. Ellen says:

    Hi! These look delicious and I’m thinking of making them for a bridal shower next week. Do you know if it’s possible to make them ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze them until the day of and then reheat them in the oven? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Ellen

    • sarah sprague says:

      While normal sized mac & cheese usually reheats okay, I’ve found these smaller ones tend to get greasy if you bake and then reheat them. (My guess is because you cannot stir the mac & cheese to redistribute the fat and oil from second baking.)

      I would make the mac & cheese on the stove top the day before, then bake them in the muffin tin day of the shower. It doesn’t take much time to spoon them into the pan and heat. (Probably just as much time as it would to reheat frozen ones.)

      Hope they come out for you!

  4. Ellen says:

    Good tips. Thanks so much, Sarah!

    Ellen

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