Olivia Dish

Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Brie

In Homemade on February 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

When there's no cheddar in the house....

A few years ago, I wrote a Food Network show that posed the potentially world-changing question: could you make real mac ‘n’ cheese on the stovetop that was (almost) as quick and easy as breaking open a box of Kraft?  And could that homemade version satisfy a box-mac-n-cheese-loving kid?


Brie, on a board made by Maine prison inmates.

I’m not the biggest mac ‘n’ cheese fan, and I like it baked with some of the noodles on top browned and crunchy, the way my grandmother made it.

It was lunchtime on a cold, rainy day and for some reason, I craved macaroni and cheese.   There was no cheddar in the house.  I wasn’t going to the market, and I was too hungry to wait around for an oven concoction.

I did have a huge hunk of mediocre brie in my fridge, a cheese so average I could barely bring myself to eat it. And bowtie pasta, eggs, butter, and milk. Could I make a brie version of stovetop mac ‘n’ cheese? Macaroni and brie?

I was sure I could and a quick Google search further convinced me–though the recipes I found were complicated and required oven baking.

brie peeled

Brie, peeled and cubed.

So, I searched out the old homemade-stovetop-recipe from the old show and made a scaled down version of it using brie.

First, I boiled the noodles (amount? two hands full). While they were cooking, I cut off a wedge of the average brie, peeled away the rind and cubed.

egg, milk

A little egg and milk....

I beat one egg with a quarter-cup of milk.

When the noodles were barely fork-able, I added a dollop of butter, the egg/milk mixture, and the cubed brie. I stirred this over low heat until it was thick and creamy.

Then, I dumped the entire glob into a bowl and topped with fresh ground pepper.

noodles with brie

Everything in, for a stir and melt.

It was not bad–creamy and rich, but a little flat. I can see how adding a dash of mustard (the spice) or a splash of white wine could liven it up.  I kept wishing I had some crispy bits of bacon to toss on top.

I also wonder if the cream sauce would be better if thickened with a bit of flour instead of the egg. (I had used egg because 1) that’s what the tv recipe called for and 2) I wanted to add some protein to my lunch.)

When I crave macaroni and cheese again, in six months, maybe I’ll give it another go and experiment with these “improvements.”  Or not. Because, though I’m grateful to have food, truly I am,  I’m also hoping I won’t be cursed with another chunk of mediocre brie any time soon.


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