Monday, June 18, 2012

Smoked Gouda Cream Sauce

I have a problem with impulse food buying. I find that with or without a grocery list, at least one unintended purchase lands in my cart. A couple weeks ago, it was arugula reggiano ravioli from Trader Joe's.

I wasn't sure what kind of sauce would be good with it, and I never have cream in the house, but when I received a grocery store gift card, I knew exactly what I was dropping those free dollas on: smoked gouda and heavy cream to make smoked gouda sauce!

So on Saturday night, I cooked up the ravioli while I shredded gouda.

In a skillet, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter (Kerrygold, of course) and sprinkled 2 teaspoons of flour, to make a roux. I whisked continuously until the sauce began to thicken.

I then added 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream and continued to whisk, letting it bubble up and reduce for several minutes.

Then I dumped in the cheese and continued to whisk, adding a sprinkling of paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

I then tossed my ravioli with the sauce, sprinkled parmesan and garlic spices on top and it was de-lic-ious. I will admit, it was a bit rich with such a heavy pasta, but it was totally tasty. Only problem? I had a TON of sauce left over. I suck at leftovers, but I put it in a Rubbermaid container and stuck it in the fridge without much of a plan for what to do next.

Enter my bestie Ashleigh, who spontaneously came over for a Girls marathon. With someone to share it with, I decided to pull out the now solid block of gouda sauce and make smoked gouda mac-and-cheese. First things first, I preheated the oven to 425, then got to work.

I left the Rubbermaid on the counter long enough for the sauce to get soft again and then used a spatula to scrape it into my skillet, which was on medium heat. I added heavy cream to the sauce until it reached the same consistency it had the previous night. I added a little extra gouda, as well.

I tossed elbow macaroni in the sauce, then poured it into a Corningware dish I spritzed with baking spray. I topped the mixture with more shredded gouda, a little shredded white cheddar, panko bread crumbs and pepper bacon.

We baked it until the cheese was fully melted, then turned on the broiler just long enough to brown the panko crumbs and get the cheese nice and bubbly. To say the mac and cheese was amazing is a bit of an understatement. Neither of us could stop ourselves from filling our bowls!

For those of you who like specific measurements, click below for the recipe for smoked gouda sauce:

Smoked Gouda Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream (I used an eensy bit less).
  • 2-3 cups of shredded gouda (use your best judgment).
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg (use your judgment, again).
  • Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk until mixed.
  3. Pour in heavy cream and continue to whisk. Bring to a boil and continue to stir until the mixture had reduced and can coat the back of a spoon (or your whisk).
  4. Add the gouda and continue to whisk until smooth. Add your paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  5. Toss pasta with the sauce or cover and save in refrigerator. 

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