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Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 10–12 Servings

In America today, Mac ‘n’ Cheese means a blue box with powdered ingredients and dried elbow macaroni. It really is a shame that when a dish is so simple to make from scratch and enhance its quality with unique ingredients that cooks don’t jump at the opportunity. This recipe should be your enticement.

1 pound crawfish tails
12 ounces elbow macaroni
2½ cups packed coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese
½ cup finely grated aged Gouda cheese
2½ cups packed coarsely grated Edam cheese, divided
3 tbsps butter
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped red bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup flour
3½ cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 tbsps melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish and set aside. In a pot, boil macaroni in lightly salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. While macaroni is cooking, prepare cheese sauce. In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and sauté approximately 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in minced garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in milk and cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil. Add coarsely grated Gouda cheese and 1½ cups Edam cheese. Cook 2 minutes or until cheeses melt, stirring constantly. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg then season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Set sauce aside and keep warm. Place bread crumbs in a medium bowl, drizzle with melted butter and toss. Add ½ cup finely grated Gouda and toss to combine. Set aside. When macaroni are cooked, drain and stir into warm cheese sauce. Place half macaroni and cheese mixture in prepared baking dish and smooth top. Top with remaining Edam cheese and crawfish tails. Spread remaining macaroni mixture evenly over top then sprinkle with seasoned bread crumb mixture. Bake approximately 40 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden and edges are bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

















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