Recipe of the Month



A soon as guests set foot in­side Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom Lodge, they are im­mersed in African cul­ture. The African-themed Deluxe Re­sort fea­tures Sa­van­nas, where guests and vis­i­tors can see a va­ri­ety of live an­i­mals graz­ing from pub­lic view­ing ar­eas or even their bal­conies. The an­i­mals alone make this Re­sort in­cred­i­ble and worth vis­it­ing, but Dis­ney didn’t stop there. The Re­sort is amaz­ing in so many other ways as well.

One big draw is their food. The An­i­mal King­dom Lodge fea­tures some of the best restau­rants on prop­erty, blend­ing African-in­spired dishes with Amer­i­can fare. You would think that with all the cul­tural in­flu­ences, Guests would rave about an au­then­tic dish. Not the case. The one dish that keeps Guests com­ing back again and again is the quite Amer­i­can, Mac­a­roni and Cheese from Jiko: The Cook­ing Place.

Jiko’s Mac­a­roni and Cheese is tra­di­tion­ally served as a side dish with their fa­mous Oak-grilled Filet Mignon and Red Wine Sauce. Their ver­sion fea­tures a rich 4-cheese blend, which makes it creamy and smooth. Be­lieve it or not, it only takes a hand­ful of in­gre­di­ents to recre­ate this fan fa­vorite at home.

The key to a great home­made Mac­a­roni and Cheese is to keep things “low and slow”. Too much heat could scald your cheese sauce caus­ing it to break. Fol­low each di­rec­tion to the tee, al­lot­ting the ex­act right amount of time for each step. Move too quickly and your sauce can be­come lumpy. An­other great tip is to use warmed milk rather than right out of the fridge. Stir in your cheese us­ing a “fig­ure eight” method. Both of these tips will help your cheese sauce come to­gether eas­ier.

Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s start cook­ing!


Jiko — The Cook­ing Place, Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom Lodge (Recipe from D23) Serves 4 to 6


3 ta­ble­spoons un­salted but­ter

3 ta­ble­spoons all-pur­pose flour

2 1/2 cups whole milk

8 ounces shred­ded Ital­ian four-cheese blend (such as moz­zarella, asi­ago, fontina and pro­volone)

1/4 tea­spoon coarse salt

1/4 tea­spoon ground black pep­per

1 pound el­bow mac­a­roni, cooked and kept warm


1. Melt but­ter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stir­ring un­til com­bined. Cook, stir­ring fre­quently, for 5 min­utes, or un­til golden (do not let brown).

2. Add milk to but­ter mix­ture, whisk­ing un­til com­pletely smooth and no lumps re­main.

3. Sim­mer mix­ture, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til sauce coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 min­utes.

4. Add cheese to saucepan in batches, stir­ring un­til com­pletely melted. Add salt and pep­per, stir­ring to com­bine.

5. Place cooked mac­a­roni in a large bowl. Add cheese sauce, stir­ring to com­bine.

Serve im­me­di­ately along­side a grilled filet or even chicken. Next time you’re at Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom Lodge, I highly rec­om­mend mak­ing a reser­va­tion at Jiko: The Cook­ing Place. Reser­va­tions can be made up to 180 days in ad­vance for on-site guests.

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