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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Twins Mac & Cheese recipes - contest on Rachael Ray

It was so strange - I was just posting on the prior leftover mac & cheese posting, and I had the TV on. Rachael Ray had twins on the show who battled for the title of Best Mac & Cheese recipe. The first one I am posting is the winner, followed by the 2nd place recipe (loser..haha).

Edited to add:

If you'd like to check out the twins' blog "Twin Tables," it is at the first link below! Smiley Happy Lots of recipes!

Denise's Irish Cheesy Beer Bake with Tomatoes


  • 2 - 12 oz bottles - Irish lager beer
  • 1 lb - dry rotini pasta
  • 6 Tbsp - butter, divided
  • 1 cup - diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves - garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup - flour
  • 2 cups - half-and-half
  • 12 oz - White Irish Cheddar, grated
  • 8 oz - Medium Cheddar, grated
  • 2 tsp - salt
  • 1 tsp - freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp - cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup - panko bread crumbs

Yields: Serves 8


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour the 2 Irish Lagers into a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the beer has reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Pour in the pasta and stir, cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in onions and sauté until onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the reserved beer, half-and-half and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often until sauce slightly thickens, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 12 oz White Irish Cheddar cheese and 8 oz Medium Cheddar and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the salt, pepper and cayenne. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in the rotini and tomatoes. Pour the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and toss with the panko until well coated. Evenly distribute the panko mixture over the pasta. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the topping golden brown.

Melissa's French Onion Style Macaroni and Cheese


  • 6 oz - French baguette, about ½ of a loaf, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons - extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium - yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced root to root, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 small - red onion, halved and thinly sliced root to root, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 3 teaspoons - salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups - low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup - red wine
  • 8 ounces - uncooked rotini pasta
  • 4 tablespoons - unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup - flour
  • 1 cup - half-and-half
  • 1 cup - whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon - Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon - black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups - well packed grated Monterey Jack cheese, about 5 oz
  • 1 cup - well packed grated Swiss cheese, about 4 oz
  • 1 cup - grated Gruyere cheese, about 4 oz

Yields: 8 Servings


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bread cubes on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden and crisped. Set aside to cool.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium Dutch oven (3 1/2 quart) heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss well to coat. Place lid on securely, and let cook for 5 minutes, without stirring or lifting the lid. After 5 minutes lift lid carefully to pour condensation into onions; stir well. Replace lid and cook three minutes more. Stir again, cover and cook for an additional three minutes, or until onions are soft. Remove pan from heat and scoop onions into a bowl; set aside. Do not wash pan.

Meanwhile, bring chicken broth and wine to a boil over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and rotini; stir. Boil for 7 minutes. Drain well; set aside.

Return Dutch oven to stove. Melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and milk. Bring just to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Slowly begin to add the Monterey Jack and Swiss cheeses. Whisk until melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in reserved pasta and onions. Top macaroni and cheese with bread cubes taking care to cover the whole top. Sprinkle with 1 cup gruyere.

Place dish in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese begins to brown. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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