Cookbook author Laura Werlin reinvents classic cheese recipes, like mac and cheese, to add even more cheese.


"Toasty, nutty and fantabulously crunchy, with plenty of oozing cheese" is how Laura Werlin describes the perfect sandwich. Werlin has written five books on cheese, starting with The New American Cheese, and including not one but two books on grilled cheese (the latest is Grilled Cheese, Please!). The recipes here reveal the obsessiveness of someone who admits, "I used to dream about cheese." They range from a mac and cheese topped with more cheese in the form of cheddar crisps to a chopped salad with blue cheese in the dressing and more blue cheese sprinkled on top. Then there's her grilled cheese with andouille, made with both extra-sharp cheddar (for flavor) and Monterey Jack (for meltiness). They're the kind of recipes any cheese fanatic might dream about.

Building a Cheesier Mac and Cheese:

Tillamook All Natural Cheddar

Cheddar A sharp aged cheddar, like Tillamook All Natural, has superb flavor.

Cheddar Crisps

Crisps Shred the cheddar and melt in a skillet to serve with the mac and cheese.

Pinot Noir

Wine Pair the dish with a berry-rich California Pinot Noir.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Cheese Crisps. Photo © Quentin Bacon
Credit: © Quentin Bacon

Finished Recipe:

Paprika adds smoky flavor to this super-creamy dish that includes Fontina, cheddar and mascarpone. Cheese crisps replace the usual bread crumbs on top.


Cooking with Cheese: Fast Cheese Tips

Best All-Around Supermarket Cheese

At a store with few good options, Gruyère rarely disappoints, Werlin says.

Best Melting Cheeses

Werlin's favorites are Monterey Jack, Muenster, Fontina, Gouda, mild cheddar and Gruyère.

Best Uses for Sharp Cheddar

Sharp cheddar is drier than the mild kind, so it stays firmer when heated. Use it for flavor, not for meltiness.

Video: Laura Werlin on a Great Cheese Appetizer

More Irresistible Cheese:

Multigrain Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Classic Cheese Fondue
Credit: © Rob Howard