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A&E >  Food

Spokane chefs share mac and cheese recipes

Chefs at No-Li Brewhouse, Clover and Manito Tap House in Spokane agreed to share recipes and tips for today’s macaroni and cheese story.

Here they are:

Making macaroni and cheese with @chefmoreau @nolibrewhouse

A video posted by Adriana Janovich (@adrianajanovich) on

Making macaroni and cheese with @chefmoreau @nolibrewhouse part two

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Spicy Andouille Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

From Branden Moreau, executive chef at No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane

“This is kind of an ode to my childhood,” said Moreau, who encourages home cooks to experiment with his recipe. “You can use the fundamentals of this base to make your own mac ’n’ cheese. There’s no rules. There’s no boundaries.”

His “secret” ingredient is a concentrated spice paste that can also be whipped into butter and used on fish or steak and potatoes.

“I’ve cooked prawns with it. I’ve added it to mayonnaise to put on sandwiches,” Moreau said. “You could probably whip it into soft cheese for an appetizer.”

But, he cautioned, “A little goes a long way. The more you add, the spicier it’s going to be. This is where the flavor comes from.”

He offers these tips, too: pre-cook the noodles, let the flavors develop in the sauté pan and add the garlic just before the glaze – “so it doesn’t burn. Burning can happen at every single step, especially if you’re doing it stovetop. But as long as you pay attention, it should be fine.”

Don’t worry about leftovers: “If you make (the sauce) a little bit thicker you can take your leftovers and deep fry them. Just a quick fry in little patties works great.”

1 ounce olive oil

1 cup andouille sausage, cut into rounds

1/2 cup red onion, julienned

1/2 teaspoon spice paste (recipe below)

1 teaspoon garlic

1 ounce white wine, like Chablis

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 to 1 1/4 cups smoked cheddar cheese

2 cups cooked cavatappi pasta

Toasted bread crumbs, for sprinkling

Heat oil in large saute pan until it develops a sheen. Saute sausage rounds in order to allow flavor to seep into oil, about 2 minutes. Add onion and lightly sauté until onion becomes soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add spice paste, stirring to coat. Add garlic and mix to combine. Deglaze with white wine. Add heavy cream and cook until mixture is slightly reduced and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Add cheddar and shake pan or stir to combine, then add pasta. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until cheese starts to become stringy. Remove from heat. Garnish with toasted bread crumbs.

Spice Paste

From executive chef Branden Moreau of No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane

4 ounces soy sauce

4 ounces honey

2 ounces kosher salt

2 ounces crushed red pepper flakes

2 ounces cayenne pepper

4 ounces dried oregano

1 bunch cilantro

8 ounces garlic

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Puree into paste. Label, date, store and use as needed.

Yield: About 1 pint

Note: Only 1/2 teaspoon is needed for each serving of macaroni and cheese. Moreau suggests home cooks halve or quarter the recipe, if they don’t need such a large quantity.

Making roux with Travis Dickinson at Clover in Spokane

A video posted by Adriana Janovich (@adrianajanovich) on

Making spaetzle with Travis Dickinson at Clover in Spokane

A video posted by Adriana Janovich (@adrianajanovich) on

Roux plus spaetzle plus cheese. Coming together at Clover in Spokane.

A video posted by Adriana Janovich (@adrianajanovich) on

Spaetzle Macaroni and Cheese

From Travis Dickinson, executive chef at Clover in Spokane

Dickinson prefers a blend of white cheddar, Gruyere, Kaseri and pecorino Romano cheeses, but said Parmesan and Swiss could be used, too.

If you don’t want to make spaetzle from scratch, you can use pre-cooked pasta instead. “I’ve always liked elbows,” Dickinson said. “I like the hollow center, which absorbs the cheese sauce. There’s something very traditional about it, too.”

3 ounces butter

3 cups cooked spaetzle (recipe below)

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 ounces sherry

12 ounces bechamel sauce (recipe below)

4 ounces grated cheese, plus for more topping

Combination of fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, mint and basil, to taste

Toasted bread crumbs, for topping

Micro greens, such as buckwheat sprouts, for garnish

Brown butter in a large saute pan. Add spaetzle and salt and pepper, then cook until spaetzle is lightly browned on all sides, letting the spaetzle sit in the saute pan without stirring too much so the dumplings “pick up the color” – but taking care not to burn them. Add sherry and cook until absorbed, then add bechamel sauce and cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, then add herbs and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Divide equally into four bowls and top with bread crumbs and more cheese, if desired. Broil in oven until bread crumbs are crispy and cheese is melted and browned. Garnish with micro greens.

Yield: Four 6-ounce portions


From Travis Dickinson, executive chef at Clover in Spokane

“If the dough’s too loose or too thick when you make it, it’s going to be hard,” Dickinson said. “You want it fairly sticky, fairly pourable, with no lumps.”

Salt, for water, plus more for seasoning, to taste

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

Pepper, to taste

Pinch nutmeg

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup buttermilk

Start a large pot of well-salted water and bring to a boil. In a stand mixer, with a paddle, whip flour, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk and buttermilk. With the stand mixer running, add the milk-and-egg mixture in a slow, steady stream and blend on medium speed. Mix until no clumps remain. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Using a spatula, press through a spaetzle maker, colander, or perforated pan or spoon with holes that are about the diameter of a pencil, allowing dough to fall into the boiling water in oddly shaped drops. Cook until the spaetzle floats. Skim spaetzle into a bath of ice water. When cool, drain and allow to dry slightly before use.

Yield: Four 6-ounce portions

Bechamel Sauce

From Travis Dickinson, executive chef at Clover in Spokane

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a saucepot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden and thick. Add the milk and salt, and return to a simmer while stirring. Cook until sauce is thick and flour taste is cooked out.

Yield: 2 cups

Making green chili mac ‘n’ cheese at Manito Tap House in Spokane

A video posted by Adriana Janovich (@adrianajanovich) on

Macaroni and Cheese

Adapted from Molly Patrick, executive chef of Manito Tap House in Spokane

The original recipe from Molly Patrick made a 12-quart, commercial-size batch of cheese sauce. Manito Tap House goes through “at least” one of those batches per day, often doubling and tripling the recipe. This version has been pared down for home cooks and makes about 1 quart, or about 4 servings.

Note: The restaurant makes the base in advance, then prepares individual additions to order in single serving sizes.

For the base:

1/2 pound mascarpone

1/4 pound cream cheese

1 1/3 cups half and half

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream

4 teaspoons corn starch

4 teaspoons roasted garlic

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 pound roasted Anaheim peppers

1/2 cup Swiss cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

To prepare a serving:

Splash olive oil

3 ounces parboiled and chopped chicken breast

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 ounce garlic, minced

White wine, to taste

Lime juice, to taste

1 ounce fresh jalapeno, plus more for topping (optional)

1 ounce chopped bacon

8 ounces cooked cavatappi pasta

Fresh cilantro, to taste

Bread crumbs, for topping

1 tablespoon Cotija cheese, for topping

Make the base: In a stand mixer, whip soft cheeses together. When well-combined, slowly add the wet ingredients. Once the wet ingredients are incorporated, mix in the rest of the ingredients until well combined. In small batches in a sauce pot, heat mixture slowly over medium-low to 165 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Prepare an individual serving: Heat olive oil in large sauté pan. Add chicken and salt and pepper. When chicken is browned, add garlic. Deglaze with white wine and lime juice. Add jalapeño and bacon. Ladle in about 1 cup sauce. Add pasta and cilantro. Transfer to serving dish. Top with bread crumbs, Cotija cheese and additional jalapeno, if desired. Broil until top is browned and bubbly, about 1 minute, then serve.

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