Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Mac and Rind
This title is not nearly as catchy as the standard Mac n Cheese or even Macaroni and Cheese. But it is my preferred method of preparation. If you are related to me, you might recognize this as a southern slur of two of my son's favorite cousins. :)
My son is very clear on his likes and dislikes. Cousins-like. Hot dogs-dislike. Mac n Cheese-top of the list. He adores any combination of pasta and cheese. Any. From powdered box version to homemade with eggs. He thinks of it as a separate food group to be savored and explored. Sometimes, he's so much like me it's scary.
Now discipline is good. It has its place and should be enforced. No eating cookies as you walk around the living room. Vegetables are very important. No, you cannot eat fruit chews for a meal. However, there are some days when a mommy should honor her loved one's cravings and make the foods they love (preferrably in a manner the grownups will love too).
A few Sundays ago, I was digging around in my fridge for a suitable lunch and found I had several peices of very smelly cheese. No cheese nub was large enough to justify an entire dish and the variety wasn't enough for a cheese plate. What to do? Just look over at the blue-eyed towhead and you will see the directional gleam in his eye. I ended up making a massive, artery choking version of macaroni and cheese that I thought I'd share. You can fiddle all you want with the cheese types-just remember that it MUST be very gooey and cheesey or it will taste like a poor substitue for the real thing.
I must point at right here and now that this is more of a guideline, less of a recipe. You will notice that the cheese categories are mine and not classic. I think I even threw in a slice of American pseudo-cheese for this recipe along with 3 (yes 3) different kinds of blue cheese. The point is, if you love cheese then this will be like heaven for whatever kind of cheese you love. It works best for me if I have several different types of cheese whose flavors layer each other.
4 TBSP butter
8 oz. assorted smelly srumbly cheese like-parmesan, blue, meunster, emmenthal, really sharp cheddar
8 oz. assorted creamy cheese like chevre, mozzarella, gouda, monterey jack
1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
2 TBSP whole grain mustard
1 LB pasta cooked and drained but not rinsed
I just put all the dairy products into a pan on med low heat and stir until two things happen.
1. The ingredients have melded into something resembling a sauce and
2. There's a quantity large enough to cover my noodles.
Once those things happen, I put the noodles in a casserole dish, cover with sauce and a splash of cheese (yes, more cheese) and then cook at 350 F for a while (approx. 30 minutes) until it looks melded. Serve with something green and full of fiber to counteract the effects.