Saturday, January 25, 2014

chipotle mac and cheez

Remember me? It's ok I don't either. It's been for-ev-er. But sometimes I make things and think, "I must let the rest of the world know about this!" But it's funny, because going back through old posts, I realize i don't ever make some of those recipes anymore. They are OLD news. Not as good as the stuff  make these days. Or rather, stuff I was making before Jonah was born. I have recently upped my cooking nights from 2 to 4 nights a week, and so far I am loving it. I still hate dishes, but they are actually a nice break from baby duty (pun intended) if Matt is home to do it. Anyway, something that never got on my blog, at least ... well i don't THINK it is on here. I don't really know. No one reads this, and neither do I. Anyway, i have a recipe for macaroni and cheez that is amazing and has won over omnivores and vegans  alike. This is NOT mac n cheez that tastes overwhelmingly of nutritional yeast, which is not what you want. This recipe tastes like white cheddar mac. CLICK HERE for the recipe

Now, the only thing I do differently than this recipe says is that I always add diced raw mushrooms to the pasta, as I mix in the sauce before it bakes. Well not always. A few times I've added broccoli bits, which so long as they are really really tiny, they were good. I've added diced or shredded zucchini which was awesome. I've added peas maybe. I've added well mashed great northern beans to the sauce to bump up the protein. I've added smoked paprika instead of regular, and I always add garlic powder, and about 1 TBL soy sauce along with the paprika. Anyway, you can add anything you want, but mushrooms are the best thing to add and I almost always add them. I do this because a million years ago i went to the half moon cafe and ordered truffle mac n cheese, and it was pretty good. You don't need truffles. But they might be pretty good in there. If i pay a million dollars per pound for anything it better be good in EVERYTHING.

I lied again, that's not the only thing I do differently. I also don't crush up ritz crackers. I could, but panko is already crushed up. As are corn flake crumbs, which were really good, better than panko. I have also used plain cracker meal, but it's the one you use as a last resort because despite spraying oil on there are inevitably dry chalky pouches of meal that is not really what you want to feel in your mouth. Ever. Unless you have PICA. So with the panko, I sprinkle herbs on top of them, like oregano and sage and basil, then use my misto sprayer to spray olive oil onto the panko before it bakes. Good stuff.

Now, a few months ago I tried this recipe (click) and while I LOVED the flavor, I didn't love the texture. It might be because I used the food processor instead of the blender, but it was gritty and not creamy. Which was depressing. I've made the cashew queso from the post punk kitchen website, which is AMAZING, but that comes out creamier for some reason, maybe because you cook it for 20 minutes. This recipe you just mix and eat pretty much, which is great if you're short on time. It was super spicy, and I love spicy, but this was almost tooooo spicy. Anyway, I bought canned chipotle's to use in the ppk chipotle mac n chz recipe. Matt had bought dried, but I decided it needed to be canned in sauce to work, so we refrigerated the dried ones. I thought maybe I could make a hybrid someday.

That day came this past week. I decided to use the first recipe and just add chipotle. I used our coffee grinder to grind up one pepper, after breaking it up into chunks and removing as many seeds as I could. I mixed the ground pepper into cheez sauce before i baked it, and it came out really tasty. I think I could add one half more pepper, and it would be perfect. No matter how you make this recipe, it will be good. The bonus part of making the hybrid is that you can spoon out some regular mac n cheez into a separate baking dish before you add the ground chipotle, for the kids. Everybody wins! With the ppk recipe I ended up making a plain white sauce for the kids, which took extra time and dishes. If you don't have kids, I recommend trying the ppk recipe. It was super delicious, and easily can be made less spicy by just adding less chipotles and tasting until you have it right. Unlike me, who just threw a bunch in. and didn't taste until the very end.  I can't remember fully, but I feel like i may have doubled the ppk sauce recipe and ended up with way too much, but it froze nicely so we had it for another dinner. Go forth, and eat cheez.

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