Saturday, December 28, 2013

Potluck Perfection

It’s not often I have to come up with a dish for a potluck, but when I do I try to think of something a little bit different or at least something ordinary with a twist.  Enter the Mac & Cheese Muffin.  Around the holidays especially, we can lose sight of portion control and eat more than we planned.  That’s why this recipe is perfect.  They are individual portions that can be enjoyed alone, as an entrée or as the perfect side dish.  In my case, I made them for my fiancé to take to his work potluck this holiday season.  I heard they were a hit and disappeared quickly.  I am glad I made a few extras to keep at home.

I used whole wheat pasta and skim milk to add a healthy kick to them.  You could never tell with the great cheese I used.  * I choose sharp white cheddar and Gruyere but you can choose 2 of your favorites and experiment *

Mac & Cheese Muffins

4 cups cooked whole wheat macaroni
1TBSP butter
1TBSP flour
1 cup skim milk
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese
1 egg
1 egg white
1 (10oz.) package of frozen spinach {defrosted, drained and patted dry}

Cook macaroni, measure and set aside.
Defrost, drain and pat dry your frozen spinach.
Shred the cheese.
Mince the garlic.
Separate one yolk from one of the eggs (you need one whole egg and an additional 1 egg white).

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly mist 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
Melt the butter over medium heat, adding the flour to thicken.  
Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temperature to just under a boil.
Whisk in the shredded cheeses to form a cheese sauce.
Remove the cheese sauce from heat and mix in the egg and the egg white until combined.
Then in a large bowl combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce and mix together.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cups of the prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops are slightly brown. 
Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the muffins.

Just out of the oven
Since I was making them as part of a brunch potluck I made the mixture the night before.  I added the mixture to the muffin tins and refrigerated them.  In the morning I woke up, popped them in the oven to finish them off.
xoxo Gwen

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