* Posts by Varnel

3 posts • joined 8 Apr 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Varnel
Happy

I knew even while doing my initial prep of this dish, 1" cubes (as was originally called for) was far to big for a dish that does not get stirred post bake. Used 1/2" the first time, was still too segregated a flavor. No way would I not do 1/4" in the future (perhaps even shredded on those cheeses).

Considering it microwaves well, thought it might fit the post-pub nosh series. I live in the cheese state (Wisconsin), and have access to just about everything. What I can't get at the market, I can likely get thru the Country Club (at cost). I've tasted everything from dolphin to goat to lamb to horse in the past few months. Rare stuff I cannot find at the market the CC gets NP.

Oh and will be cooking El Reg's english muffins at work Thrus. Only one cook there has ever done it, many had never even seen a recipe for them. Not ballsy enough yet to try the Hollandaise sauce.

That is something we make at the CC regularly, in fact, more then once daily. I have yet to show the el reg version to the cooks.

Varnel

I knew even while doing my initial prep of this dish, 1" cubes (as was originally called for) was far to big for a dish that does not get stirred post bake. Used 1/2" the first time, was still too segregated a flavor. No way would I not do 1/4" in the future (perhaps even shredded on those cheeses).

Considering it microwaves well, thought it might fit the post-pub nosh series. I live in the cheese state (Wisconsin), and have access to just about everything. What I can't get at the market, I can likely get thru the Country Club (at cost). I've tasted everything from dolphin to goat to lamb to horse in the past few months. Rare stuff I cannot find at the market the CC gets NP.

Oh and will be cooking El Reg's english muffins at work Thrus. Only one cook there has ever done it, many had never even seen a recipe for them. Not ballsy enough yet to try the Hollandaise sauce

Varnel
Alert

Recipie Suggestion

I have a recipe for your collection. I work in a professional kitchen, and after getting a version of this recipe from my mother, I had to give it a go at work. If I ever make it again, I've made some adjustments that I would absolutely do, but when I made this, I was doing so for more of a commercial scale (about 220% of what is quoted). So the original recipe fell short on several levels. After that one go, this is what I would do on any future occasion (on any scale):

The one time I've made this, had I personally purchased everything, this would have been $100 (but fed 12-15 ppl). The reason mom found this to be the "keeper" recipe, is that this stuff tastes just as good microwaved a day or so after it came out of the oven. Hence, while not cheap, it would be a good post pub nosh (reheating ez).

On we go, these are the ingredients: (apologies for being American and using Imperial...)

$100 Mac-n-Cheese!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups large elbow macaroni

10 ounces Valveeta (American) cheese (cut into 1/4" cubes)

10 ounces White Vermont Cheddar cheese (cut into 1/4" cubes)

15 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

1-2 cups Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese (combined) shredded

4 ounces Cream cheese (at room temp)

2/3 cup Sour Cream

1 1/3 cup Heavy Cream

1 1/3 cup Half-and-Half

1 Egg (unspecified size--I used 2x Extra Large US sized on my 220% batch)

2 2/3 tbsp flour

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (USE THE GOOD STUFF!)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dry mustard powder (Sub Honey Dijon mustard!)

1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg (fresh if possible)

1 tsp kosher salt

pinch paprika (smoked if available)

1 tbsp fresh chives (garnish)

1. Grease a 9"x13" nonstick baking pan with 1 tbsp butter (sub olive oil), preheat oven to 350 deg F. Prepare macaroni according to package, but do so to al dente. Be sure to add a some salt and olive oil to the water. Drain well.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the heavy cream, half-n-half and sour cream. Break the room temp cream cheese into little bits with your fingers as you add it to the bowl (seriously, this is the best way to do this, and I work in a professional kitchen with all kinds of kit). Add the egg, flour, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powders, dry mustard (seriously, WTF, go with real Dijon mustard), cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Combine very well with a wire whisk to help break up the cream cheese. It will look lumpy, that is OK.

3. This is where I depart heavily from the original recipie. Layer down some noodles, 1-1.5cm max. Sprinkle that cubed Valveeta/Cheddar, then sprinkle a very light layer of the Gruyere. Add another layer of noodles, and repeat. Much like making lasanga. (Original recipie called for shoving these cheeses down into the entirety of noodles using your fingers.) Goal here is to have all of those cubed cheeses scattered around in the noodles as randomly as possible with a light layer of that delicious Gruyere.

4. Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over the top (this should be the heaviest layer). Gently and evenly pour that artery-clogging mixture of cream on it, covering all areas. Gently shake afterwards to make sure the liquid is even.

5. Top the pan off with your shredded Monterey Jack and Vermont Cheddar, and then sprinkle your (hopefully smoked) paprika on top. Put on middle oven rack and bake until brown and bubbly--approx 30min Should be creamy in the center and more crusty on the top and edges.

6. Garnish with the chopped chives

When I prepared this for staff lunch at the Country Club I work at, one of the Administrative staff told me it was the best Mac-n-Cheese they had ever had. Some of the young college students working as servers told me, "It was too cheesy." I don't know how Mac-N-Cheese can bee 'too cheesy.'

Enjoy.

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