Monday, June 13, 2016

Smoked Mac and Cheese on the Grill!

So....... I have been trying to do the unexpected on my new grill because it is supposed to do it all - easily. And so far it has not disappointed.  If things have not turned out, it has definitely NOT been the fault of the grill!  I am eager to share some of the successes with you as time goes on.

This is one of the first "out of the norm" things I did on the grill.  I would definitely make this again.

Smoky Triple Mac n' Cheese                                       

adapted from the Traeger Grill recipes
Serves          6 - 8


2 1/2 c. half and half or milk (plus more if needed)
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 T. butter, cold
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. hot sauce, if desired (not for me!)
3/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 c. smoked gouda (with bacon for extra zip!)
16 oz. of pasta (I used half whole wheat corkscrew and regular cavatappi)
pinch salt
1 c. Panko breadcrumbs
2 T. butter, melted
smoked paprika to garnish 


Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 225F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes. 
Make the sauce: Combine the half and half, cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of chilled butter, dry mustard, hot sauce, if using, and black pepper in a large (12-inch) well-seasoned cast iron skillet. 
Place the skillet on the grill grate, uncovered, and smoke the mixture for 30 minutes. Remove the sauce from the grill and whisk until fairly smooth. Increase the Traeger temperature to 350F. 
While the sauce smokes, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stovetop. Cook the pasta 1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions call for; the pasta will continue to cook on the grill. 
Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and return to the pot. Toss the cooled pasta with the shredded cheeses.

Pour the smoked sauce over the pasta and cheese, stirring gently with a rubber spatula to coat the pasta well.
Combine the melted butter with the cup of Panko crumbs and set aside.
Rinse out the cast iron skillet and dry thoroughly. Turn the mixed macaroni and cheese into the clean skillet or a buttered 3-quart baking dish or casserole, smoothing the top. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on the grill grate. 

Time to cook on the grill...
Bake the macaroni and cheese until it is bubbling and the top is lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Dust lightly with the paprika. Carefully transfer the skillet to a trivet or hot pad before serving.

Toasty and golden and heavenly!

A touch of parsley for freshness and flavor...

Good enough to eat!

This is not as "cheesy" as the standard mac and cheese, but the cream cheese makes it smoother and luscious and the smokiness of the sauce gives it a surprising and tasty bite.  It is delicious!

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