Sunday, January 17, 2010
Although I like many types of macaroni and cheese, I don't have it so easy. K-man runs very hot and cold about it. My stats run 1-4 on him liking the M&C recipes I've made. He says he can't explain it why Mac and Cheese is just something that he doesn't HATE but just isn't fond of. WHAT? ARE YOU NUTS? Sometimes he likes it, sometimes not. Once I find the recipe he likes I am DONE. No more trying new M&C recipes.
I found a new recipe on Baker's Banter (King Arthur's Flour) for Garlic-Herb Mac and Cheese and wanted to give it a try. They use a powdered white cheese powder which I already had. But I was a little apprehensive since the powder was now a BLOCK.....I had to run a hunk through food pro to measure out a 1/2 cup. Doesn't look promising. I made it and thought I am really not using this perhaps I should just toss it out after this recipe....Stay tuned for what happens after I made this.....
Garlic-Herb Mac and Cheese
adapted from "The Big Cheese-y" by King Arthur's Flour
8 ounces (about 2 cups) uncooked tube-type pasta (you gotta have something to hold the sauce!)
1/4 cup cake flour (they used on of their special mixes, they said you could sub flour)
2 -3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup Vermont cheese powder (see above-you can substitute a packet from any white cheddar mac and cheese box)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used Cabot's 70% reduced fat white cheddar)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic oil, optional
2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or rosemary and thyme
1 -1/2 cups Japanese panko (coarse bread crumbs)
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
2) Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (slightly firmer than you would normally eat it). Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
3) In a large saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the flour, milk, and cheese powder. Bring to a boil.
4) Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and seasonings. Stir occasionally, until cheese is completely melted.
5) Stir the pasta into the cheese sauce. Spoon it into the baking dish.
6) Melt the butter and garlic oil together, then stir in the pizza seasoning and panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle a thick layer over the pasta and cheese.
7) Bake the casserole for 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Remove from the oven, and serve hot.
Yield: 5 1/2 cups, about 4 servings.
The crumb topping was delicious and crunchy. But, as for the cheesy noodles, I am not sure if my powder had something to do with it, but something about this was off. It was creamy not gritty but I think the powder was past it's prime. I will want to make this again. WHY, you ask?
Because my mom walked in the door for dinner with a bag of 3 NEW bags of white cheese powder. Oh lord. I had a hard enough time using up ONE bag, now I have 3 new ones? GEEZ.
So, I will keep one and I want to giveaway the TWO others for those who would like to try out this white cheese powder for themselves. You certainly can just can use it just like your standard mac and cheese directions with 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup milk with probably 2-3 Tbsp of the powder with their cooked macaroni OR use it to follow this recipe.
SO, if you have never used cheese powder and want to play around with it or use it to try and make your own copycat cheese nips like I did, drop a comment and I will determine a winner in the next few days.
Post Script NOTE: So I used one of the new bags of Cheese using the same cheese sauce recipe for some broccoli and it ROCKED. Yum! Therefore, I am concluding that the M&C I made and said it was 'off' I was right. It WAS the cheese powder...past it's prime. Those of you hesitant to enter thinking this cheese powder isn't good. Not true!