If you asked me to name my 3 favorite foods, two of them would definitely be pasta and cheese. So it’s no wonder that mac and cheese is one of my favorite things ever. Now take that pasta and cheese and add wine to it – even better! This is a Disney recipe that used to be served as a side dish at Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sadly, I did not get a chance to try it while it was on the menu there, but I was grateful to come across the recipe on the Disney Chef so I could make it myself at home!
Like always, I made a couple of tweaks to the “official” recipe to better suit my needs – my needs usually being to cook something as simply and cheaply as possible. A couple of differences: I didn’t add pomegranate syrup to the sauce because I don’t know where the heck you find that or what it even is. I didn’t have port wine on hand so I just used a generic sweet red wine. And for the cheese involved I altered things a little bit. To get all of the cheeses in the original recipe would have cost a fortune at my grocery store (gruyere, fontina, asiago, and provolone). Thank goodness Wegmans had a cheese blend of fontina, asiago, provolone, and parmesan for $3.99 – close enough! Luckily despite my changes this dish still tasted amazing!
Also, my kitchen is slowly becoming Mickey-fied. From various gifts and subscription boxes I’ve acquired things like Mickey measuring cups and my Mickey spoon rest. They really get me in the Disney mood when I’m cooking a Disney recipe!
If you’re looking to do something a little fancy or fun for dinner, or you have good memories of the Jiko mac and cheese – this is the recipe you want to try! It was actually pretty simple, you just need to factor in 2-3 hours of simmering time for the sauce. But aside from that, the actual “hands on” cooking work was not bad at all.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups mixture of fontina, provolone, asiago, and parmesan cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the red wine sauce:
- 1 bottle red wine (I used a shiraz)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 spring thyme
- 1 cup port wine or sweet red win
- 1 bay leaf
Start by making the red wine sauce. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until reduced by about half.
To make the cheese sauce, melt butter and whisk in flour over low heat. Add milk and bring to a simmer while whisking constantly. As the sauce thickens, add cheese and salt and pepper. Once sauce has fully thickened, add cooked maraconi and mix well.
To serve, pour red wine sauce on the bottom of the plates or bowls. Top with warmed mac and cheese and enjoy!
Do you have a favorite mac and cheese recipe? Did you ever get to try this version from Jiko?