Camembert Mac and Cheese

 One of my favorite Passover treats growing up was a square matzah smeared with apricot jam and topped with slivers of Camembert cheese. I’d look forward to it just as much as matzah with chocolate spread, and that says a lot. I still enjoy this cheese with bread or crackers, the optimal way to let its distinct taste shine through. But Camembert adds a little something special to cooked dishes as well. I’ve partnered up with Natural and Kosher to bring you this Camembert Mac and Cheese.

This mac and cheese comes together quickly in a skillet and makes a great weeknight dinner. The Camembert balances out the other cheeses and gives much depth and dimension to the otherwise humble yet venerable mac and cheese. The addition of Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper make it even more interesting. It’s definitely rich and creamy, as the comfort of cheesy noodles should be. A must try family dinner that can be enjoyed by the spoonfuls and hearty appetites. 

Camembert Skillet Mac and Cheese

1lb whole wheat elbow pasta

8 oz shredded Natural and Kosher mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)

3.5 oz. Natural and Kosher Camembert cheese, rind removed and cut into small chunks

2oz. Natural and Kosher Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/4 cup Panko crumbs

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

fresh thyme, for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Strain, mix in a drop of oil to reduce sticking and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mozzarella, camembert, and parmesan cheeses. In a different bowl, combine the panko and thyme.

In a large 10-inch ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. When butter starts to foam, whisk in the flour. Whisk continuously until the flour is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk and continue whisking vigorously taking care that no clumps form. Continue whisking until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in the mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to the lowest setting. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500F or broil.

Slowly add the cheese mixture by the handfuls, whisking in between until just melted. The sauce should be thick, creamy and smooth. Remove from heat and fold in the pasta, stirring slowly until coated in sauce. Sprinkle the panko mixture and bake or broil for 4-5 minutes, until the top browns and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and let it cool for 5-7 minutes before serving.