Monday, December 12, 2011

Gruyere & Cheddar Mac & Cheese & Trader Joe's Cookbook Review

Ever wonder what to do with all the cool food items you see on the shelves at Trader Joe’s?  Wonder no more.  Cherie Mercer Twoky puts an end to your dilemma of what to do with things like Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce or Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne in her new book I LoveTrader Joe’s Around the World Cookbook

With over 140 recipes this culinary atlas is your guide to making delicious ethnic meals using products from your local Trader Joe’s. It includes lots of color photos and easy to follow directions for everyday go to meals.

A few weeks back, with book in hand, I headed over to my local Trader Joe’s and spent some time browsing the shelves…picking up ingredients to make Palaver Chicken and Moroccan Sweet Potato and Squash Stew.  While I was there I got a bit side tracked; which seems to happen to me a lot. I found myself browsing at the cheese selection focusing on the Gruyere and Cheddar mix.  This blend sounded perfect for macaroni and cheese.

Now I'll be honest...I've never actually made mac and cheese but for some reason this cheese was calling out to me so I said what the heck I'll give it a try. Hence my version below. 

 Gruyere & Cheddar Mac and Cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups grated Trader Joe’s Gruyere Cheddar mix
1/2 pound elbow macaroni

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper and 2/3 of the cheese.  Set cheese sauce aside.

In the meantime fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.


  1. I go to Trader Joe's every time we visit Atlanta. I wish there was one around here!

  2. Oooooh this looks way yummy. I'm thinking it looks Christmas potluck worthy, too. Bookmarking!

  3. I love mac and cheese and this looks like really, really good mac and cheese.

  4. I used to go to Trader Joe's when I lived in AZ but don't have one nearby in NY. Never made mac + cheese? Wasn't it positively yummy?!

  5. Oh wow! I miss Trader Joes! Thank you for sharing your words...and this delicious recipe! I'm in the mood for something like this right now...packed with cheesy goodness. I hope you have a blessed day!

  6. Oh this sounds fabulous...the perfect comfort food! I miss having a Traders Joes near me. :(

  7. Nothin better than homemade mac 'n cheese, especially with gruyere. Looks fantastic! Love Trader Joe's.

  8. Love Gruyere.. I would love this recipe!! Merry Christmas Theresa!!

  9. Love Gruyere.. I would love this recipe!! Merry Christmas Theresa!!