Saturday, July 14, 2012
Ultimate mac and cheese
If you've ever tried making mac and cheese without those Kraft powder packets, you might have noticed that only adding cheese to your pasta usually results in cheesy clumps and oily pasta. The trick to getting more of a creamy sauce is to add whole milk and sour cream to the mixture.
For this recipe I thought of as many ingredients that I could that were interesting texturally but more recessive flavor-wise to make an "ultimate" version that tastes fully mac-and-cheese-y but isn't uniform bite after bite after bite.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cups dried pasta (your choice)
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1/8 cup whole milk
1/8 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Irish cheddar
2/3 cup garbanzo beans
1/4 cup white bottoms of green onion (or diced sweet onion)
1 cup whole-grain bread crusts (or croutons)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1) In a Dutch-oven-sized pot, boil the dried pasta according to the directions on the box. With 2 minutes left until "al dente," add the cauliflower to the water and pasta. Finish cooking.
2) Drain the pasta and cauliflower, return to pot, and stir in milk and sour cream. Stir in both types of cheese and continue mixing over low heat until a creamy sauce has resulted.
3) Add the onion, garbanzo beans, bread crusts, and black pepper, and still until fully incorporated. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes over low heat to give the onion and crusts a little chance to soften, but still have some bite.
(We end up with a lot of bread crusts from hard-shell homemade loaves around here, as Corin doesn't like them. Go with croutons as a substitute and not a soft-loaf crust, as that would turn to mush.)
4) Serve right away for best texture, and enjoy this grown-up version of the classic cheesy indulgence.