Today is National Cheese Lover's Day!
I love cheese almost as much as I love sugar so when the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board asked me if I would be interested in creating a unique mac and cheese recipe to share on their 30 Ways in 30 Days Macaroni & Cheese blog to celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day, I could not have been happier. I can't tell you the number of times I've wanted to eat mac and cheese for breakfast, not leftover mac and cheese but fresh from the oven mac and cheese that tastes like breakfast. This recipe combines all my favorite breakfast add-ins into a delicious mac and cheese. I decided to go with Wisconsin Colby Jack, a mild cheese that would be perfect in a savory breakfast dish. I used all the usual ingredients you would find in an omelette like sausage, onions, peppers, cheese and eggs and then combined them with pasta and crumbled biscuit pieces. The sweet breakfast sausage, creamy Colby Jack and spice from the jalapeno and Pepper Jack Cheese seriously makes this dish taste like the best breakfast casserole you have ever had. You might even eat mac and cheese for breakfast instead of dinner from now on. Or both, I won't judge!
Check out the Macaroni & Cheese blog for the next 29 days to see what mac and cheese creations other participating food bloggers came up with!
Breakfast Mac & Cheese
1 pound of pasta (I used cavatelli shaped pasta)
1 pound breakfast sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, discard seeds and dice
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1 garlic clove, minced4 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
4 c. whole milk
5 c. colby jack cheese
1 c. pepper jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste
6 toasted breakfast biscuits, crumbled (homemade or the from the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until browned. Remove sausage from the pan, drain the fat off and set sausage aside. In the same skillet, add the onion, peppers and garlic salt and cook over medium-high heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove onion and pepper mixture from heat and set aside.
Add butter to the same skillet and stir constantly until melted. Add the flour and stir constantly over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk continuously until it is smooth and has thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in 4 cups of colby jack and 1/2 cup of pepper jack along with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta, cooked sausage, onion/pepper mixture to the cheese mixture and stir until combined. Pour into a large buttered baking dish.
In a small bowl, whisk all the eggs together. Add in remaining cheese and crumbled biscuits, stir until combined. Pour this mixture over the pasta in the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
What's your favorite cheese?