I got lucky this week and scored an entire wheel of Cascadia Creamery’s Sleeping Beauty, a sublime natural rind, organic raw cow’s milk cheese made here in Washington State. When I first tasted Sleeping Beauty two years ago in Seattle, it was love at first bite… I included a review in a calendar announcement which I later deleted while doing some “housekeeping”… Up on the mother ship, Spaulding must be laughing his 4 Paws off at “my bad”.
In those two years, Cascadia Creamery has continued to produce amazing cheeses. Super Bowl Sunday’s Cheese Board included their Glacier Blue, another organic raw milk cheese, not too intense but assertive enough to make you pay attention.
Sleeping Beauty is one of those cheeses that when you taste it, you know at that exact moment you can die happy… it’s creamy, buttery and floral with an appealing sour finish. Definitely a 4 Paws cheese.
While I was making the cheese sauce for the mac n cheese, The Man kept stealing pieces to nosh on. He was swooning long before dinner came out of the oven…
Kurt Dammeier, owner of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and good friend to our website, gave me a copy of his cookbook, Pure Flavor (you can purchase at amazon by clicking on the icon at the bottom of this posting), which includes his recipe for Beecher’s fabulous “World’s Best Mac n Cheese”. It’s a recipe that I go back and read, use, adapt and every time I use a variation of Kurt’s recipe, The Man swoons… big time… This time, The Man claimed, “This is the best mac n cheese you have ever made!!”… then he swooned some more…
16 ounces uncooked pasta; my Cheesy Friend, Amanda from Murray’s Cheese, recommended Rustichella d’Abruzzo Torchio, which I bought in bulk at the Bleecker Street shop while in NYC recently – it was a perfect choice. You can buy this divine pasta below thorough amazon. A bit pricey but well worth the extra cost.
16 ounces of Cascadia Creamery’s Sleeping Beauty – shredded
6 ounces Fontina Fontal – shredded
4 ounces VBCC Cultured Butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups evaporated milk
2 cups filtered water (to dilute the evaporated milk)
Salt, Pepper and Chili Flakes to taste
2 ounces VBCC Cultured Butter
1 cup Panko
Prepare pasta in well-salted water to al dente. Drain, but do not rinse and put in a baking pan that has been rubbed with butter.
While pasta is cooking, melt butter is saucepan. Add flour and stir to integrate well. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook-off the flour taste.
Mix evaporated milk and water together and slowly add to butter and flour mixture. Stir and keep smooth, cooking at low temperature until it starts to thicken, about ten minutes.
Add cheese to flour mixture until cheese is melted and incorporated into mixture to create sauce. Pour over pasta and mix. It will seem you have a lot of sauce but it will fill up the pasta and when finished you’ll have mac n cheese heaven.
Melt the second amount of butter and add the panko, mix together and sprinkle all over the top of the pasta and cheese sauce mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minuted until top golden brown and the edges are bubbling.
Serve and watch your family swoon… it’s guaranteed…