human again. [creamy four-cheese mac & cheese w. mushrooms, peas & chicken]
It’s been a long two weeks. I’m still recovering from a serious gum surgery, but am finally starting to feel human again. My diet for the past two weeks has consisted of frozen yogurt, protein shakes and Ramen…and all I want is a cheeseburger!!
I couldn’t bear to eat another bowl of Maruchan Ramen, so I decided to try eating mac & cheese. Granted, I was only able to eat the noodles and cheese sauce, but the rest of my family enjoyed the pasta with the mushrooms, peas and chicken. Everyone gave the dish two thumbs up!
creamy four-cheese mac & cheese w. mushrooms, peas & chicken
- Note: Might not use all the cheese sauce
- 1 box Barilla Piccolini medium conchiglie shells
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) salted butter
- 7-8 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups reduced fat milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup Jarlsberg, grated
- 1 cup Gruyère, grated
- 3-4 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar, plus more or less to taste
- 1-2 tbsp. salt, plus more or less to taste
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more or less to taste
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 6-8 medium Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1-2 pieces grilled chicken, cooked, then cut into small chunks
- Fresh parsley, for garnish, if desired
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Strain pasta then return to large pot.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter and flour over medium heat until bubbly and thick, but not browned, about 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly. Add heavy whipping cream and milk. Whisking constantly, let mixture thicken, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add four cheeses, salt and pepper, and continue stirring. After sauce is smooth and cheese is melted, stir in Sherry wine. Pour ½ of the cheese sauce into the pot of pasta and stir together. Add more cheese sauce, as needed. Season pasta with additional salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, then add sliced mushrooms and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
- Place frozen peas in a microwave-safe bowl, and cook in microwave 3-4 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, peas and chicken pieces to mac and cheese; mix. Garnish mac & cheese with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot.