Posts Tagged ‘Quickes Oak Smoked Cheddar’
The holidays are upon us, bringing delightful discussions of cheeseboards and delicious cheese dishes. Mac & Cheese tends to be a favorite preparation. With so many incredible Mac & Cheese recipes out there to choose from, it may be a daunting task to find one sure to be a crowd pleaser.
We looked to Paul Kemp, of igourmet.com (a specialty food online retailer), for advice. He is a food connoisseur for sure – specializing in cheese – but is also known for his deft culinary skills and knowledge.
One of Paul’s favorite Mac & Cheese recipes comes from Laura Werlin, a celebrated author and speaker on the subject of cheese and a James Beard winner.
When Paul wanted to create a spicy Mac & Cheese masterpiece, he chose Laura Werlin’s “The Best Ever Macaroni & Cheese” recipe and substituted Coombe Castle Fiery Spice (English Cheddar with green and red bell peppers, green and red chili peppers, crushed chili and garlic), Coombe Castle Moroccan Spice (English Cheddar with North African Harissa - a hot red sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, coriander, caraway and cumin) and Quickes Traditional Oak Smoked Cheddar, in place of the more traditional suggestions.
The eating experience was incredible! Savory and bursting with a thrill of hot spiciness. It had all the qualities of, yes, the best Mac & Cheese ever but with a powerful and delicious fiery punch (not at all for the faint of heart!). With a beautiful presentation as well; one you just wanted to dive right into.
Here is the full recipe. Paul also topped his dish with walnuts, adding a lovely texture and taste.
1/2 pound dried elbow macaroni, large size
4 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 cups whole or lowfat milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoons cayenne pepper
10 ounces Coombe Castle Fiery Spice Cheddar, coarsely grated (about 2 1/4 cups)
4 to 5 ounces Coombe Castle Moroccan Spice Cheddar (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 ounces, Quikes Oak Smoked Cheddar, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 1 1/2 quarter soufflé dish or other straight-sided casserole. Set aside.
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook 2 to 3 minutes LESS than the package directions suggest. You want the pasta to be underdone. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, drain, and rinse with cold water. Shake off as much excess water as possible and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until thoroughly coated. Put the crumbs on a small plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk over a medium heat until very hot but not scalded.
In the sauté pan you used for the bread crumbs, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over a medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour and stir until cooked, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the hot milk and whisk continuously until all of the milk is incorporated and the sauce has begun to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt, pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 cups of Fiery Spice , 3/4 cup of Moroccan Spice, and all of the Quickes Oak Smoked Cheddar. Mix well until the cheese has melted.
Add the cooled macaroni to the cheese sauce and pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining Fiery Spice and Moroccan Spice, and top with the bread crumbs.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the casserole is bubbling (or until you can no longer resist the aroma of melting cheese permeating your home).
Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
Serves 4 to 6
Thank you to Paul for adding a twist of English spice to our holiday cheer.
Happy eating to all!