Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Four Five Cheese Macaroni

This week's recipe of Four Cheese Macaroni was chosen by Mrs. Bethorama at Supplicious. I must admit, I was pretty darn excited about macaroni and cheese - especially a mac and cheese with so much cheese. Although the addition of the squash was somewhat bizarre, I figured that the extra liquid would help keep the mac and cheese all ooey and goey.

My verson of the CEIMB weekly selection is sponsored by Publix.
And thank goodness for Publix because that was the ONLY frozen pureed squash that I could find in the grocery store. While I was pacing up and down the frozen food isle in search for the lovely frozen pureed squash - for the briefest moment I contemplated making my own fresh pureed squash. Then I snapped back to reality and realized that a gal who works 60 hours a week doesn't have time to puree squash. So the hunt continued. And finally I located the treasured Publix cooked squash! I have no idea whether it was pureed winter squash, but it was pureed. Success. Granted, in the time it took me to locate said box of winter squash, I probably could have pureed my own - but really that's neither here nor there.

So, I started cooking but was briefly interrupted by the floor guy coming to measure my kitchen for new flooring. YAY! Stay tuned on that saga. Good thing boiling water and defrosting squash are much more patient than I am!
Now, on to the cheese. I must admit while I was excited by the four cheeses already in the recipe, I just couldn't resist adding more cheese. I had some gruyere cheese in the fridge, so I added about one ounce of it to the mix. After some elbow grease, I finally had all the cheese grated! However, I think something is wrong with my rationale on this one....

After the squash was defrosted, I added the milk, simmered as per the recipe, and then added the spices and the cheese. I didn't have any dry mustard on hand, so I used some of the Dijon I purchased for last week's oven-fried chicken. I probably added about 2-3 teaspoons of the Dijon. Oh, and I am so excited about my new jar of Cayenne Pepper. This jar is much much smaller than the old one. I wonder how long it will take me to finish off this puppy???

Well I finally got everything mixed together and added the sauce to the cooked macaroni that was patiently waiting in the baking dish.

Note-this is only HALF of the recipe!!! I decided against making a full recipe and freezing half of it for next week. However, I should have frozen half of the half that I made because this is still A LOT of mac and cheese. I added the topping and baked the mac and cheese for about 35 minutes in a 375ish degree oven. It still wasn't bubbling around the edges, but the rest of dinner was ready, so in the broiler it went. My oven is somewhat temperamental (ok, very temperamental), and its gas (which isn't properly calabrated), so using the broiler (or the oven for that matter) is always a bit tricky. Santa, if you are reading this...I would love a new convection oven for Christmas - Kenmore Elite, stainless steel, 30", gas, 5 burners. I put the mac and cheese under the broiler for less than a minute - probably more like 40 seconds - but the breadcrumbs came out of the oven looking more like burnt toast than breadcrumbs and cheese. Note to self, breadcrumbs and direct flames are not a good mix. (The result wasn't very pretty , hence no finished picture of the entire dish!)
Well after all this effort , I must say I was a little disappointed by the mac and cheese. I thought the squash overpowered the entire dish. And despite all the cheese I added, I could barely taste it. I also was not a very big fan of the texture. Perhaps I added to much ricotta cheese. I put about 3 heaping tablespoons of it in the cheese mixture. Maybe the addition of this much ricotta dried the mac and cheese out. Even the cats were not a fan of the mac and cheese. The decided to hide/ sleep as opposed to partaking in the fruits of my labor.

To accompany the mac and cheese I made a variation of the pork recipe on page 194 of the Food You Crave. The fresh sage and garlic on a thin cut pork chop was fabulous. I deglazed the pan with some chicken stock and made a sauce to go over the pork. Served with a salad, this was a well balanced dinner.

Thanks Supplicious for choosing mac and cheese. It definitely was not my favorite mac and cheese, but I am glad I stepped out and tried something different. Is it sad that my favorite mac and cheese is made by Kraft? Don't judge.


  1. We felt the same way. Way too much squash and quite tasteless. I love Kraft Mac too!

  2. Macaroni with extra cheese.... my favorite. Chefs is also a nice source to me for such wonderful recipe.

  3. Well, shoot -- Thanksgiving totally threw me off of my commenting stride! Your mac 'n cheese looks great -- sorry it wasn't your favorite! It takes a special mac n cheese to knock the blue box off its pedestal. I actually went so far as to buy the elusive frozen pureed squash, and then ended up not making this. Now that I've heard some pretty lukewarm reviews of this dish, I guess I need another use for frozen pureed squash! Oh well, hope the next recipe works out better -- I mean, beets and brussel sprouts, how can it fail?