I know. This is so un-FOODalogue-like.
But, remember Our Family Food Fight (see sidebar photo)? It had a brief revival Saturday night when my niece suggested a ‘mac n’ cheese’ throw down.
Six varieties of mac n’ cheese were in contention in categories like taste, ooziness, aroma, and originality. Winner gets the coveted Macaroni Master 2013 trophy and an original drawing.
Let the tasting begin.
Nick thought it was funny to start his recipe recital with “You go to Costco …“.
It was funny, but he placed LAST.
My sister made a 3-cheese and chorizo casserole. It placed FIFTH (though it was in my top 3).
“And we put potato chips on top.” Cute, right? Even the kids participated. Placed FOURTH.
My All-American Pie got oohs and aahs on presentation and aroma but, sadly, only enough points to place THIRD. And don’t think they didn’t throw that in my face!
Jim’s Mac n’ Cheese Balls with bacon were a hit and placed SECOND.
And Teri’s sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese with chorizo, tomatoes and hot sauce placed FIRST.
A few thousand calories later, the winner got her trophy.
• • •
I thought my dish was a purely original idea but, alas, not! A google search reveals that Rachel Ray also thought of something similar. I guess that’s understandable since the ingredients are so complementary. This is my version.
The All-American Pie: Mac n' Cheese, Apples and Bacon
Author: Joan Nova, aka FOODalogue
- ¾ lb. cooked pasta
- 2 cups shredded Rosy Goat cheese*
- 1 cup chopped green apple
- ½ cup crumbled bacon
- ¼ cup minced red onion, chives, garlic
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 egg beaten
- pastry shells*
- salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, smoked paprika
- olive oil
- saute onion and chives in butter and olive oil
- add flour and make roux by whisking briskly
- add milk, continue whisking
- temper egg and add slowly while whisking
- add cheese
- add dry seasonings to taste
- mix well with reserved pasta
- heat oven to 400 degrees
- layer pie plate with one piece of dough
- add mac n' cheese mixture and heap high (like deep dish apple pie)
- add top layer of dough and crimp edges tightly
- glaze with egg yolk
- sprinkle additional nutmeg and smoked paprika
- finish with fresh grating of parmesan cheese
1. Rosy Goat is hard goat cheese encrusted with rosemary.
2. I use pastry shells found in Latin supermarkets called 'tortas' but imagine any pastry dough will work.
The drizzle was made by blending apples and chives with olive oil, rice vinegar and honey.
Final Note: IMHO, this didn’t take top prize because it was made earlier in the day, refrigerated and re-heated and it lost some of its original creaminess. But, the flavors were there and the drizzle was unique and tasty.
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!