The perfect mac and cheese. Thank you, Michael Symon! *UPDATE*

I grew up on Kraft® Mac and Cheese. Seeing that blue box on the counter would start me singing and dancing around the kitchen anticipating that powdered-cheese goodness! Over time we switched to Stouffer’s®, because only little kids ate Kraft® , right?  And then I tasted heaven on a plate, aka Michael Symon’s  Mac and Cheese.

I first had this tasty treat three years ago at Lolita’s in Tremont (a little borough on Cleveland’s near west side).  Hearing so much praise and adulation about this dish before tasting it,  I had a hard time seeing what all the hype was about.  The pasta wasn’t your typical macaroni and the color wasn’t that signature bright orange that I had come to know.  It was a creamy white with flecks of green. My inner child began to come out and rebel against this strange concoction. And then I tasted it.  The sweet/tangy flavor from the chevre mixed with subtle yet complimentary essence of rosemary was just perfect.  The blue box was outta my life for good.

After tasting this delectable treat, I tried to find the recipe to recreate it myself with no luck. Until now! Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen was released just before the holidays and it contains this coveted recipe along with many other tasty treats to try.  I highly recommend everyone grab a copy as soon as possible and cook up a batch.

Okay, so I can’t leave you all hanging. Below is the recipe to get started. If anyone else has an incredible mac and cheese recipe clue me in!


  • 6 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary
  • 2 pounds of cooked rigatoni or other favorite pasta
  • 6 ounces Lake Erie Creamery Goat Cheese (or your local favorite)


  1. Season chicken breasts with paprika salt and pepper and set aside
  2. Heat olive oil in large saute pan and place chicken in it browning on both sides
  3. Place in 400-degree oven for 8 to10 minutes
  4. Remove from oven and let cool then dice into large pieces
  5. Heat cream in large saucepan
  6. Add herbs, salt, and pepper and reduce by half
  7. Add the cooked pasta, cheese and cooked chicken and simmer for 2 minutes
  8. Remove from heat and serve.
So,  today I followed this recipe and made my beloved mac and cheese. Unfortunately I have  discovered that I need to practice cooking a whole lot more.  The final product was a far cry from the dreamy creamy delicious concoction I love so much and more like just tolerable alfredo.  The only thing I did different was not add chicken (I still used the paprika) and substituted a different chevre.  Below are photos from my cooking venture. I would love to hear from other chefs-in-training that have attempted this recipe with better results.
Pasta almost done and cream starting to heat
Ingredients prepped and ready.
Unfortunately, my cream boiled over.   Added cheve, rosemary, pasta and spices.
It looks good, just seemed to be missing something. Any ideas?

1 Comment

Filed under Cheese

One response to “The perfect mac and cheese. Thank you, Michael Symon! *UPDATE*

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Ten-Tacular Mac and Cheese « The House Mouse

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