Some days, you just need Mac and Cheese. These days come in a variety of methods: Cold and windy, long and stressful, bright and cheery, “ho hum,” etc. You know…the more I think about it, just about any day can be a mac and cheese day! Our inspiration for this particular rendition came from the fact that we still had two Andouille Sausage links left in the freezer from our Mutton trip to Kinderhook Farm a little while back.
Andouille always makes us think Cajun (one day, we’ll get out of our comfort zone and use it for something completely different, but today is not that day), so we decided to get some okra and use those ingredients as critical components in a mac and cheese! The next (and generally most critical) choice when constructing our mac and cheese was the type of cheese. We wanted something mild enough that it wouldn’t overpower or clash with the andouille flavour and creamy enough to melt into a nice sauce. Red Waxed Gouda was the perfect choice, as it checked off every box (and gives us the excuse to make Gouda Grits again with the leftover cheese).
We served our dish over a bed of baby spinach so that we could tell ourselves it was sort of like a salad.
Time: 30 Minutes
- Elbow Noodles
- Andouille Sausage
- Okra (we used frozen because fresh wasn’t available)
- Gouda (or another creamy cheese that melts well)
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1.5 Tablespoons of Flour
- A few cups of Milk (2-3 depending on how thick you like your cheese sauce)
- Spices of your liking. We used Cayenne and Black Pepper.
- Optional: A Tomato (if you would like a little more acidity and some red colour in your dish)
- Bring a pot of water big enough to cook your pasta to a boil.
- Slice your andouille links into discs.
- Melt some butter in a large pot, and then add your sausage. Sautee until it browns.
- Slice (if using fresh) and add your okra to the pot as well, and cook with your sausage. If using tomato, dice, and add it when you add your okra.
- Pour your pasta into your water, and allow it to start cooking.
- When your sausage is cooked, and your okra has softened, sprinkle your flour over them, and stir to combine. If you’re using cayenne and black pepper, add it during this step.
- Pour your milk into your sausage/okra pan, and stir as you bring it to a low simmer. Then, add your cheese, and stir to combine.
- When your pasta is done, drain the water, and pour your pasta into your cheesy sausage/okra pot. Stir to fully incorporate.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!