I recently puchased some Havarti. Teh flavor is very buterry, and a bit salty. It's really good cheese when you bring it to room temperature, and allow it to roll around on your tongue a bit. I used it together with some freshly grated Parmesano Regiano, a bit of colby (small amount), and some left-over gruyere that was sitting in my fridge. The Havarti and Parmesano cheeses took center stage, with the other two added for complexity and flavor depth.
The cheese was added to a classic Bechemel and stirred in until silky sommoth over low heat. I used this sauce to top an herb-baked chicken over zetti pasta that was flavored with a bit of EVOO. This isn't cheese macaroni by far. And was it ever great. The flavors belnded admirably, with the flavoroful cheese sauce (and I do mean lots of cheese flavor with the silky smooth Bechemel acting as the flavor carrier) complementing the oregano, garlic, alt, and sweet onion flavors of the chicken, all that on top of whole grain pasta with EVOO.
Though this dish is primarily a cheese macaroni type meal, but with the cheese added as a sauce on top rather than mixed in, with chicken, it is more elegant, prettier, and more satisfying, at least for me. It is every bit as much a comfort food as its simpler cousin. I mean, what's more comfortable that cheese macaroni and baked chicken?
So next time you're in the mood for cheese mac, try this combination, with whatever cheeses you choose. Because, as I've said again and again, a great sauce is only great if you like it. And as long as you use the proper technique for adding the cheese, and taste as you go, you can use virtually any cheese, or cheese combination you like for flavor. For those of you who like ripened cheeses, use a good camembert, or brie. For veined cheese lovers, there are all ov the blue cheeses, Roqueforts, Gorgonzola, etc. For mild and creamy cheese lovers, you can use goat, or feta, or Havarti, Muenster, etc. For hard cheese lovers, aged cheddar (I'm talking five years here, kids) Parmesano Regiano, Romano, Asiago, etc.
Add herbs to the mix. in the words of a particular rock group, YOU CAN DO IT!
I'm thinking my next cheese sauce may be comprized of simply Havarti, butter, and cream, maybe with some fresh chives mixed in. Yum. I can taste it now.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North