Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Mac and cheese. This classic comfort food is beloved by most everyone, young and old, in all its different guises. And whether you become giddy opening a box of neon-yellow Kraft or insist on homespun, you’ll be taken by these savory little nuggets.

Sauteed wild mushrooms with thyme are folded into a Gruyere-gilded béchamel sauce, which coats each al dente piece of pasta. A few well-beaten eggs hold the whole thing together. You’ll need a well-greased mini-muffin pan (with 24 cups) to bake these. If you have two, all the better, as it makes just over 24; if not, just bake the first batch, then re-grease the pan and bake the remaining.

You can also bake these in regular muffin pans for bigger bites which you can serve for a nice winter lunch alongside a green salad.

Ingredients for Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites

Makes about 30 bites

    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped mixed wild mushrooms (about 8 oz)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
    Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray two 24-cup mini muffin pans generously with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a saucepan 2/3 full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until al dente, about
 7 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
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  4. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 tbsp of the butter. Add
 the mushrooms, thyme, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and sauté, stirring, until tender and the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
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  6. Add the remaining butter and the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the milk while whisking constantly, until smooth. Continuing to whisk, slowly add the cheeses until smooth. Add the macaroni and mushrooms to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Add the egg to the pasta and mix well.
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  8. Spoon the pasta mixture into 30 of the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly and filling the cups. Bake until crisp and browned around the edges and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing the mac and cheese bites (use a small knife to help dislodge them if necessary).
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Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
New Year’s Party Appetizer: Mini Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese Bites 29 December,2015Kim Laidlaw

Author

Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.

Author

Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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