Tuesday, January 20, 2009

awwwww so sweet! (mac n cheese)

yesterday, mlk day, i had to work. kris did not. so what did he do with his day off? he made mac n cheese for dinner! and i'm sure he did one or two other things that were equally exciting, but let's focus on the mac n cheese. i walked in the door yesterday - tired from my long day of watching the clock sloooowly tick - and a warm aroma greeted me. i was starving as usual and could not wait to dig in. it took all my might not to plop down in front of the oven door and peer inside watching this baby turn golden brown and crispy on top. kris was busy doing the dishes but was i allowed to help? no no, i was told to go sit down, relax, and would i like a glass of wine while i wait? awwwwwww so sweet. but sorry. back to the food. obviously, there was no actual cheese involved. i think it's a winner because 1. it was delicious and 2. it was loved by both me (cheese hater) and kris (cheese liker). this dish is a delightful blend of tangy, spicy, creamy but not overly-so, and it was filling but not heavy. it also made a fantastic lunch today as well! the recipe is from VegNews. as i did not help prepare it in any way i cannot really comment on it's ease, time frame, etc. but i can say that whatever it takes it's worth it.

Mac 'n' Cheese
(from Vegnews.com)

4 quarts water
1 tablespoon sea salt
8 ounces macaroni
4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces*
2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tomato, chopped**
1 bunch asparagus, chopped**

In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce and raw tomato and asparagus chunks (or whatever else you might want to throw in there) until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

*we had panko breadcrumbs on hand and kris used those. i thought it worked just fine. he says he wants to try different breadcrumbs next time.
**as you may have noticed in the picture, there are some non-mac/non-cheese ingredients hanging around. kris added asparagus and tomato and both were wonderful additions.


1 comment:

Jill said...

awwww what a good beyonce! :)