Part of the reason we liked it was because it was a little different than a traditional mac and cheese. The cumin seeds give it a mild smokey flavor. And there are some greens involved! Which added a nice element and made my veggie lovin' heart happy. So, if you don' t like branching out, this may not be for you. (Terry, Kyle, Vanessa, I think you all might like this! Maybe Beth and Erin as well, but it might be too much if you have to hold a toddler/baby while doing it! :o) And I don't even know if any of you are reading this but if you try it let me know!)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk- we used skim
- 2 cups (packed) coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese plus 1/2 cup finely grated (about 10 ounces total)
- 2 cups (packed) coarsely grated Edam cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed
- 12 oz elbow macaroni- we used whole wheat
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless sourdough bread
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)- I think 1 tsp of ground cumin would work just as well
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then flour; stir constantly 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups coarsely grated Gouda and 1 cup Edam. Stir until cheeses melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer chard to plate; cool. Reserve pot with water. Squeeze water from chard; chop finely.
- Return water in pot to boil. Add macaroni; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Stir macaroni into warm cheese sauce. Place half of macaroni in dish; smooth top. Top with 1 cup Edam cheese, then chard. Top with remaining macaroni mixture; spread evenly.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter. Place breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Drizzle butter over; toss. Add 1/2 cup finely grated Gouda and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over mac and cheese. Sprinkle cumin seeds over, if desired.
- Bake mac and cheese until breadcrumbs are golden and edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.