Friday, January 05, 2007

Little Pots of Cheesy Redemption

A little background: Several months ago I was reading about a couple of restaurant meals enjoyed by a blogger with a weakness for macaroni and cheese. She lamented that the servings are always too big (especially when you consider that it's never, really, your main course; you've ordered one of those too).
I suggested in a comment to her that restaurants ought to offer mac 'n' cheese "cupcake-style," that is, in small, individual pots with maxed-out flavors and pretty toppings and all.
She liked the idea so much, she wants to put it on her "imaginary restaurant" menu. Imaginary restaurant! Great idea, but a whole different subject.
Today the subject is macaroni and cheese. And, taking a hint from me, I made mine in individual pots with maxed-out flavors and pretty toppings and all.
Briefly, I'll describe them, but you're on your own for concocting a recipe. Not only are these recipes Cookiecrumb-style, they're lazy (oh, wait, that is Cookiecrumb-style). No bechamel. Just noodles, cheese and flavors, melded with a spurt of cream, every one of them topped with buttered breadcrumbs, and baked until done.
1) Dungeness crab chunks stirred into cooked elbow macaroni with heavy cream, cream cheese, a pat of truffle butter, tarragon, salt and pepper. Crab was the star here, though goat cheese might have worked instead of cream cheese.
2) Point Reyes Farmstead blue cheese stirred into cooked elbow macaroni with heavy cream, sautéed sliced scallions and sautéed chopped maitake mushrooms — plus salt and pepper.
3) Pizzaroni! This was made from chopped pepperoni stirred into cooked elbow macaroni, with egregious proportions of chopped mozzarella, a little grated dry Jack cheese, some heavy cream, sautéed chopped maitake mushrooms, a squirt of tomato paste from a tube, a squirt of anchovy paste from a tube, dried red pepper flakes, a good pinch of dried oregano, and a drizzle of kalamata olive juice. (You ordered olives, right?) Grated parmesan cheese over the crumbs.
OK. Verdicts? The pizza mac wins for over-the-top tastebuds-jangling weirdness. Just awesome; it tasted exactly like cheap-ass pizza, and it makes me want to dream up a cheeseburger mac next. The crab mac was silky and subtle with a truffled thrill; perfect for January and very grown-up. The blue-cheese/mushroom mac was perhaps the easiest and least expensive bang for the buck: swanky and mouthy.
Next time I'm thinking something with feta and olives. Well, after the cheeseburger mac.
Technorati:
Update: Oh, Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, my mac 'n' cheese partner in crime. You think you've been so pure, using bacon, when all I'm "cheating" with is this dumb slide show? (I'm disabling the slide show tomorrow, by the way; it's really munching my computer's memory.)

31 comments:

ludzu said...

What wonderfuls. So that's what you were saving the pepperoni for? I like the no-bechamel route. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tammy said...

FABULOUS! And what a neat slide show. Can Typepad do that? And can Typepad's templates not be ugly?

My contribution to the mac-n-cheese-off is also up. I'm having technical difficulties with Technorati, though, because I'm not smart.

ChrisB said...

Great post impressive slide show

Wren said...

You don't have to twist my arm to play a cheese game. You can find my contribution here.

Like tammy, I had some trouble with Technorati. I hope you don't mind me joining the fun this old fashion way.

s'kat said...

Those are so cute! I want to take one of each home with me.

Although they all sound great, the blue cheese one really resonated with my tastebuds.

sher said...

I love all the alternatives you have there! My mac-n-cheese post is up, but don't know if it will make it to Technorati either! Hope so.

lucette said...

Your slide show is way classy! My mac and cheese had to settle for a single photo.

Anita said...

Ours is up, too. :)

http://marriedwithdinner.com/archives/523

Kate said...

my post is up as well, and I am a blog dork about technorati so I doubt you will see it there, but it's on my site!!!

Stacie said...

ok, that was fun!! I love your mac-cakes! Crab! Truffle butter! Tarragon! WOW! I will have to try out the pizza-mac, it might just be a winner here at Che Mosh Pit!!

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, everybody! It's midday, and the cheesy macks are pouring in. Well done. I hope you enjoyed your efforts.
As for the slideshow, just click on the little part of the picture that says "slide," and you will be taken to a cool site that does it all... free and easy. Cheesy, too.
And as for Technorati: Who knows? I can't deal with it either. Glad you all dropped by here to leave your links. Everybody, go pay your respects.

Lannae said...

Cookie! Way to go by making not 1, not 2, but 3 kinds of cheesy goodness! They sound wonderful. I am thinking I could totally eat all of them. I would be interested in trying #1. Could you send some to me?

Kevin said...

CC,
You do a video, provide a mac-n-cheese tasting menu, and then have the gall to say I cheated using bacon!

Well, my pretty, I'll get you and your little dog too.

Beccy said...

You've got my taste buds tingling.

I think I'd go for the crab.

Kevin said...

CC,
You should know, I updated my post.

D-man said...

cc - Holy sh_t! Dungeness? (how was it done before being added, boiled plain?) egregious mozarella? (doesn't exist in my book) May I announce: I LOVE your tastebuds and am envious of those in you're cooking-shed. Can I say that? I'm thinking like, the folks who sample "extras" of your's from time to time. I know we just met, but the monkey and I probably drive by your place every week on our way to Novato......and I'll be making one mean Minestrone in the future that I'm more than willing to barter. I mean trade, no, uh share, yeah, share.

So far, in my humble opinion, in the posts so far, you cut the biggest cheese (ba-dum, crash!)

and thanks for that killer slideshow and info, damn!

Catherine said...

gosh, look at you, how high-tech! While plain mac n' cheese isn't a fav., I love the idea of weird additions.

Fiber said...

mmmm......loving the crab idea. Sounds absolutely delicious!

cookiecrumb said...

d-man: My "cooking-shed"? Ha ha! That's excellent.
Thank you for the pandering props, but no soup for you. Just yet. It's totally great to know you cruise by my nabe weekly, so let's look forward to a soup exchange in the future, once I get this rug vacuumed. I'm just being shy. We'll talk.
(The dungeness was pre-cooked -- steamed, I assume -- and cleaned and picked.)

cookiecrumb said...

For many reasons that shall remain my private property, my pal Dr. Biggles is *delinquent* adding his contribution to the mack-whack-off. He will be reporting on his blog tomorrow, but for tonight, he has asked me to host a photo of his entry. It looks --
Technicolor-Awesome.

mrs d said...

No extras, no baking. Just the first mac-n-cheese I've eaten in a decade. Seriously.

(Also, I should note that tonight's post content is brought to you by iTunes and the Star Trek:Wrath of Khan soundtrack, which is, I insist, not cheesy at all!)

Anita said...

Biggles wins the porn prize. Jinkies, Cookie... how do you handle the guilt of pushing such decadent images on us??

Katie said...

Now you're on to something - nice portion (yah, yah) but TRUFFLES! I can get in to this one....Maybe some slivered smoked salmon...
Could be worthy of a DO (digestive orgasm)tag.

cookingchat said...

fancy slides and ideas--truffle butter, yumm...I use truffe oil a fair amount, but hadn't heard of truffle butter--do you make that yourself or buy it? I thought of using some truffle oil in my "not my nana's mac & cheese" but decided I already had enough going on!

drbiggles said...

I'm up, I'm UP !!!

http://www.cyberbilly.com/meathenge/archives/001154.html

Phew.

cookiecrumb said...

The truffle butter is a creation of a charcuterie outfit we buy sausages from at the farmers market; you can see the minced truffle bits in it. Yow. Another way to get truffle butter is just to place a stick of butter, still in its wrapper, inside a zip-sealed bag with a real truffle for a few days. If you have a real truffle.

Melissa said...

auuughh, you & Kevin have totally inspired me & Derrick. We're having mac & cheese tonight for dinner.

Tea said...

I love this--and especially your slideshow. Fantastic!

But Anita is right--Biggles wins best m & c porn (that's somewhat like s & m porn, but different--right?)

Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I tried not to take sides against Kevin, nor be affected by your slideshow, but *drool* I am very affected!!! Yum, pots of cheesy redemption.

cookiecrumb said...

Melissa: Take pictures!!!

Tea: Yes, there is a difference between M&C porn and S&M porn. It's all about what you want to put in your mouth.

Ms Adventures: No winners! It's not a contest, it's a -- well, I guess it's turning into an orgy. :)

Barbara said...

I'm sorry I missed this event Cookiecrumb. Looks fun...and easy cooking for this time of year..