Chipotle Butternut Squash "Mac" and Cheese is a rift on a dish I was responsible for about eight years ago at the restaurant where I met my husband. All I can remember about the dish is roasting twenty pounds of butternut squash at a time and still never having enough for more than two days.
This recipe is version is a great weeknight dinner for the whole family. If you meal prep, you can do the mise en place ahead of time and make dinner that night a breeze. The butternut squash can be roasted and held cold, covered in the refrigerator days before you make the sauce. You can also grate the cheese, dice the shallots and make the crumble a head of time.
For a great cheese sauce, you start with a roux. A roux thickens your sauce and adds depth of flavor. The longer you cook your roux, the less it thickens but, the deeper the flavor gets; think about the deep color and flavor of a great gumbo. When making a roux for your cheese sauce, you are looking for a blonde roux. A blonde roux has a caramel color and nutty aroma. If making a large batch of roux, it takes about ten minutes, but it will happen faster for this recipe.