Really....and truly it is. Don't take my word for it, make this up for yourself and SEE how amazing this baked macaroni and cheese is. In fact...I bet if you fed it to any gluten lover they would not realize that there isn't one spec of gluten in each hearty comfort food laden bite. Now don't let the instructions sway you from making this. There are a few steps, but first, they are easy steps and second...it is so very worth it.
Now lets begin shall we?
You will want 2 cups each of shredded cheddar cheese and monterrey jack cheese (or mozzarella). Either will work fine in this recipe. Now...most of you will have a nice up to date food processor that will shred up your cheese in a jiffy. Me? I have the most totally awesome vintage rotary food shredder thingy from my great grandma. For the record, I DID actually use it to shred all my cheese and didn't just use it for the picture lol! I just LOVE this little gadget and have no desire to upgrade it. I think of all the wonderful food it helped prepare in my grandma's kitchen and I'm glad to help it continue it's legacy :)
Place your shredded cheese in a bowl then set aside.
Now get yourself 1/4 of butter and melt it over medium heat in a very LARGE skillet. In fact...get the biggest skillet you can find in your kitchen and use that.
When your butters all nice and melty, add 1 cup diced onion. Cook on moderate low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the onion starts to become tender. Keep the burner temperature low as you want to retain as much of the butter as possible.
Once your onions are tender, lower the heat and stir in 1/4 cup sweet rice flour. It will be a bit clumpy. Keep stirring and cook the roux for about 1 minute on low heat.
Now whisk in 3 cups milk. What type of milk you use is completely up to you. I used 1% but really....it doesn't make much of a difference in the final product.
Once the roux is thoroughly incorporated in the milk, add 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon paprika, and1 teaspoon salt. Whisk together then raise the burner temperature to a moderate high to bring liquid to a boil.
Once the liquid comes to a boil, lower the heat but keep it simmering, then stir in half of the shredded cheese mixture. Stir well to ensure all the cheese is melted.
Now, find yourself some cute cottage cheese. Preferably with a fun little cow printed on the pull tab.
Ok....I was kidding about the cute cow thing...but do get yourself 1 cup of cottage cheese and stir in the cheesey saucey mixture.
Now, THIS is some of the best gluten free pasta I have found. It holds up well like regular pasta noodles and it has a NICE al dente texture when cooked. I have found a few stores that carry it but the most cost "friendly" place has been Harman's Grocery.
Stir in 3 cups of your uncooked gluten free pasta elbows in the cheesey ewey gooey sauce.
Now the next couple steps I didn't take many pictures mostly because it's pretty self explanatory and I just was NOT that coordinated hehe.
In a LARGE casserole dish (about 2 quarts) pour about half of the cheesey sauce noodle mix then sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese blend, spreading it all around making a nice happy cheesey layer. Then pour the rest of the saucy noodley blend. Set aside.
Now it's time to make the crumb topping :) Now....I'm not going to ask you to blend up a couple pieces of your precious gluten free bread. I KNOW if you are anything like me...if I HAVE gluten free bread, I hang onto it as long as I can. It would just kill me to blend up a couple pieces JUST to make a crumb topping. I would rather just pass and not even DO a crumb topping then waste my GF bread.
Well...I have a little secret for you. Its..........
RICE Chex! Yes! Rice Chex :) It works AMAZING as a crumb topping. Just double the amount of crushed Chex cereal that the recipe calls for. So for this crumb topping, take 1/2 cup of crushed cereal and mix it in a saucepan with 1/4 cup melted butter. That's it :) It's delish and adds a nice little crunch.
Just sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top. Then toss the mac & cheese bake in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes uncovered.
Now I know this picture has nothing to do with mac & cheese, but when I was washing my dishes, the vintage bowls I snagged at the thrift store looked too cute with the dishtowel....so ya...I'm a nerd. I took a picture of wet dishes drying on my counter LOL!
After about 45 minutes, remove your most awesome baked macaroni and cheese and enjoy. You will never know it's gluten free :)