A twist on the classic mac 'n' cheese (macaroni and cheese). Torchiette pasta is smothered with a cheesy aged cheddar sauc...
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I received this email today and was really craving a bit of comfort food - so the perfect fit for our night. During a walk on the west vancouver seawall, my mom called and I told her about the recipe I was going to try. I invited her to come over for dinner, but, with the rainy west coast day, she just wanted to tuck in at home for the night. Two hours later, she called me to say that she could not stop thinking about the dinner I was going to prepare and wanted to take a cab over!
This was incredible! I must admit I was tempted to thin the sauce in the final phases with more beer not the pasta water. Hmm. Anyway, it was a hit at our home and a great dinner for a rainy west-coast night.
Thank you, thank you - a true delight.
I tried this yesterday, but had to improvise a bit with the ingredients, using what I had in the fridge. I used farfalle pasta, a Leffe (beer) and a mix of Gouda and Parmesan, which was a bit too light as the taste of the beer was quite powerful. Loved the effect of the cayenne, gave the dish a nice edge.
Was fun to experiment like this, using some of the techniques I've picked up in the Cooking School. I've always been very reluctant to deviate from any recipe in the slightest, so this was a very liberating experience!
My wife was recently diagnosed with being lactose sensitive but can have goat cheese and just about any other thing that doesn't come from a cow. What would you suggest if I want to make this for her (she loves mac and cheese and really misses it) and cant use any sort of dairy from a cow.
You can substitute chicken or vegetable stock for the milk, so you'd be making a veloute instead of a bechamel, and you can make the roux with olive oil or margarine. I'd add some spices (paprika) and herbs (thyme maybe), and even finish the veloute with some Dijon mustard. The goat cheese would be a charm. So: roux with oil or margarine + stock + goat cheee + some yummy flavors = one wonderful Mac and Cheese. Hope this helps. Let us know how it turns out.
Great dish with great smoked flavor, new sauce for a good pasta dish, easy to make, recommend more peppers, onions and more bacon to the dish to add some texture or variety to the dish, a good party dish or appetizer but struggles as a main dish (maybe except for kids) a easy good tasting recipe...
!.) How terrible would it be to leave out the red pepper? It is not my favorite flavor. Should I adjust the other spices to compensate?
2.) Could I use pancetta instead of bacon? I know there is not much of a difference but still....
Feel free to leave out the red peppers...they are there more for color really. No need to adjust the spices. I personally like a little less smoked paprika but that is totally up to you (most people like it just as is).
As for pancetta instead of bacon...go for it...should be good.
Funny that you should inquire about this recipe, as I have been craving this dish all day...maybe tomorrow! Enjoy!
I was a little hesitant about the red bell pepper in this, but made a smaller tester... ultimately used some high quality mild ancho powder instead and elected to add slight colour with frenched scallion. Yes, I used regular smoked bacon. Nice recipe. A keeper in my book!
Hi Chris W, I am new to Rouxbe but not new to lactose sensitivity! May I suggest a delicious mozzarella or cheddar goat cheese made by Woolwich Dairy? http://www.woolwichdairy.com/ La Grande Famille http://www.lagrandefamille.ca/en/marques-fromage-chevre.html makes a fabulous aged cheddar. It's called Le Chèvre Noir. It comes in a black package of 130 g of cheese. Delicious!
There are other animal-based cheeses, like sheep, goat and ewe. When buying them, be careful to read the ingredients (I'm sure your wife is used to this by now, milk is everywhere-even in hot dogs) because some still contain cow's milk products. I see this recipe calls for butter too; I have been using margarine but now have discovered goat's butter by the company Liberty, which has a whole line of goat products: 2% and 3.5% milk, crème fraîche, yogurt, Greek-style yogurt.
After trying these "cheddar flavoured" rice slices, which had the taste and texture of cardboard (not that I have ever eaten cardboard), alternative animal products has been close to a miracle for me. European markets tend to carry goat, sheep and ewe products more than your typical / standard North American chain store. However, I had great success ordering my goat products from my local IGA.
I am trying to make a basic macaroni and cheese using a similar cheese sauce from a family recipe but cannot get the right proportion of pasta with the sauce to prevent the dish from becoming to dry after baking. Is there a basic rule of thumb to use when combining pasta and cheese sauce to prevent this?
Not really as too many variables involved here: oven temp, crumbs used, shallowness of casserole, type of pasta and degree of cooking.
If too dry I suggest thinning the sauce with some pasta water before baking, and making sure you broil rather than bake - much quicker and less drying. If you love the cheese sauce, use less pasta as in this case it just might be more about the sauce.
I made a double batch of this tonight to bring to a family with a mom who just had surgery. They are going to love it! I saved a bit for ourselves for dinner tomorrow night too. The mis en place is key since making the sauce goes quickly. I'm glad I had everything measured, chopped and ready to go, which made the recipe easy.
I just want to be sure, but the same ratios apply to making this cheese sauce as to making cream of broccoli soup? For example, 1 tbsp of fat to 1 tbsp of flour and 1 cup of milk to 1 cup of cheese.
Also, I was taught to thin out my sauce with milk. Does it make a difference whether water or milk is used?
No, the same ratios do not necessarily apply. It all depends on whether you want a thicker or thinner consistency for a particular dish. A soup ratio may be too thin for mac n' cheese but, again, it depends. This is where you need to experiment a bit to see what works for your tastes.
You might find the lesson on How to Make Bechamel helpful and also the lesson on How to Make Roux-Based Soups. Milk can definitely be used to thin out a bechamel sauce. There is no fat or flavor in water, so yes, it will make a difference in the flavor and texture of the sauce depending on how much is used. Cheers!
Yes, it should be looser but not super "soupy" so the dish is not runny in the end. You'll want the sauce to cling somewhat to the pasta. It's one of those things that you'll have to try out and tweak to see what ratio works for you.
For this particular recipe, you might want the sauce a bit thinner if you plan to bake it. Cheers!