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Cooking Up EPCOT's Gourmet Mac and Cheese at Home
By Tinker Belle Diva

I’ve definitely improved my cooking and baking skills this year with Disney posting so many great recipes in their Cooking Up the Magic series. In late August, they posted the recipe for the Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese topped with Herbed Panko from the 2020 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. My daughter had me cook it for her for lunch this week, so here is how it went for us.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Ingredients

Step 1 – Buy the ingredients. We had most of what was needed in the recipe at home, but we did not have panko, the Boursin cheese wheels, the right shredded cheese, or enough butter. We took a quick trip to our local Trader Joe’s and found everything we needed. Here is the full list:

  • 1 cup of butter (1/4 cup for the Panko and 3/4 cup for the cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup of panko
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 16 ounces of pasta (we used elbow macaroni)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 8 cups of whole milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 3-5.2 ounce Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels

    Browning the Panko

    Browning the Panko

We did end up somehow with only one of the Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels instead of three. We completed this recipe with only the one as we didn’t want to go back to the store. Also, my daughter asked that we not include the mustard powder as she doesn’t like that flavor. Here is the link to the full printable version of the recipe that outlines all the steps for those ingredients you bought.

Making Gourmet Mac and Cheese

The butter/flour mixture

Step 2 – Make the Toasted Panko: This was a relatively easy step. However, the recipe says it will take 3-5 minutes. It took longer for us to see it turn the golden brown; however, after we took the pan off the heat, it kept cooking in the hot butter and turned a very deep brown. So I would say to keep it to the 5-minute mark and remove from the heat. If yours doesn’t keep turning more brown in the heated butter, you can always put it back on the cooktop and toast it some more.

Step 3 – Cook the Pasta: I don’t have much to offer here for advice. Follow the directions on your box of pasta. After you drain the pasta, put it back in the pot to keep it hot or put it in a warming drawer if you have one.

Making Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Folding in the cheese

Step 4/5 – Melt Butter, Mix in Flour, Milk, and Spices. Boil then Simmer: The recipe calls for a 5-quart pan. I only have a 4 or an 8, so I went with the 8 and I’m glad I did. The 4 would have been a smidge too small to get to the end of this recipe. The directions tell you to stir constantly and that is to keep the flour from burning to the bottom of your pan. This mixture is called a ‘roux’ and they want you to create a blonde roux. A roux is simply a mixture of fat (butter for this recipe) and flour, which is used to thicken sauces – in this case, thicken your cheese sauce. Once you have that blonde roux made, add in the milk and spices and bring to a boil. This took a bit of time to boil and I recommend that you keep stirring on and off while waiting for a boil as the mixture can burn onto the bottom of the pan.

Making Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Mixing in the pasta

Step 6/7/8 – Add Cheese and Pasta. While the recipe does not state this, take your pan off the heat at this point to fold in the cheese. The recipe also calls for you to use an immersion blender once the cheese is added. I do not have an immersion blender, so I used my hand blender. I found it to be a very easy blend and I actually think I could have done it with just a spoon. There is no need to run out and buy an immersion blender just for this recipe. Then add your pasta and mix it in with a spoon.

Step 9 – Dish up and Add Panko! The next few steps are easy. Dish up the mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle the panko on top. We didn’t have enough Boursin to use as a topping, and we decided it had enough flavor that we are ok skipping that step.

Overall this took us about 45 minutes to make from collecting the ingredients to eating out of our bowls. We also think you could add about another 1/2 box of noddles as the noddle to cheese sauce ratio seems off.

Making Gourmet Mac and Cheese

Figment Approved!

One more tip about this recipe – THIS MAKES A LOT OF MAC AND CHEESE!! The recipe states it is for 6-8. I think it really could feed up to 10, maybe even 12 people. Also, if you divide this recipe into tasting size servings, just as you would have it in the World Showcase in ECPOT, you can really stretch this recipe. As it was, I put plenty of leftovers into the refrigerator for a few more lunches this week. You could easily half this recipe and there will be enough for 4 large servings.

Looking for more Disney recipes! Here are quite a few we have written about for you so far this year:

If you want to create a trip to try to visit EPCOT’s Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel.  She provides expert advice, and her service is FREE!

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Hello! I'm Tinker Belle Diva. Just like you, I love all things Disney and have since my first trip to the Walt Disney World in 1980, followed quickly by my first trip to Disneyland. The love of Disney runs strong in my family and has been passed along to my daughter and son, who have been to Disneyland more times than I can count!