Friday, November 11, 2011

Michael Symon's Mac and Cheese Casserole 11.11.11

I think next time I need to read the recipe just a little closer.  Instead of tossing the breadcrumbs with parsley at the end, I ran bread crumbs and parsley through a few pulses of a food processor.  Came out with that slightly unappetizing green colored topping.

Today's recipe Tasted fantastic!  Bacon and nutmeg and the addition of sweet creamy mascarpone cheese certainly makes the taste of this side dish stand out.  But adding the parsley colored bread crumbs took just a bit of the joy from the final product.

But that's just aesthetics, the taste left nothing to be desired, it was absolutely as good as hoped!

In addition to the slight error (again, my fault, the recipe clearly says to toss together, not sure what got into my head to pulse), I made a few slight changes in the recipe.

Michael used a rigatoni tube shaped pasta.  For Mac and Cheese, I like to use a Fusilli shaped spiral pasta.  i think the cheese that gets into the spiral is the perfect balance of cheese and pasta.

I also chose to use a high fiber whole wheat pasta.  After all, what's good for the American Colon is good for the USA!

And I served this as a side dish with a delicious spicy Cajun spiced Blackened Pork Chop!  Perfectly balancing the creamy sweetness of the cheese and the heat of the peppered chop.

Here's what I did...

1 pound Bacon
3 TBS Flour
1 Onion, diced
1 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
2 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1 Quart 1/2 and 1/2
pinch Nutmeg
Bunch of chopped Parsley
1 pound Whole Wheat Fusilli
1 cup grated Gruyere Cheese
1 cup Mascarpone
2 cups bread crumbs

The dish is very very easy... Make the pasta as directed (al dente actually, cook 1 minute under the time recommended)
Preheat oven to 375
Cook bacon, drain and chop.
Add onion and squash to the bacon grease and saute until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and mix.
Slowly add the flour to the remaining grease and stir to make a roux.  Keep stirring until it softens and liquefies.
Slowly add the 1/2 & 1/2 while mixing and bring to a simmer.
Add in 1/2 of the Gruyere and nutmeg and stir until all of the cheese has melted.
Add the Mascarpone and continue to mix until melted and incorporated into the cheese
Add the pasta and mix

TOSS  the bread crumbs with the parsley and remaining gruyere and sprinkle over the mixture
Bake for 8 minutes

And ENJOY (highly recommend serving this with a spicy Cajun Blackened Pork Chop!

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