Kick A$$ Mac and Cheese

While at FNCE I happened to pick up a Carnation evaporated milk recipe booklet.  Most of the recipes contain meat, but there was one for a mac and cheese dish I just could not pass up making.  The only downside to the recipe is that it is far from healthy.  Nothing with that much cheese (1 lb total) ever is *sigh*.

But this picture was calling my name. 
I guess the redeeming factor was it did contain broccoli.  I made sure to add more than the recipe called for.
Since this is mac and cheese, I made sure to grate my own.  I just feel like the dish is more “mine” when I grate the cheese versus buying it shredded.
Like I said, a lot of cheese.  I did use slightly less than what the recipe called for.  This was actually a spicy mac and cheese so with the cheddar is pepper jack.
To offset that cheese just a little, I made a few changes to the recipe.  I used the non-fat evaporated milk in place of whole milk or 2%.  I also made mine with whole wheat shell pasta.
I did one more thing to add to the dish.  Instead of regular bread crumbs, I used these panko bread crumbs I ordered from Nuts Online.
Here is the before picture (even before the bread crumbs were added).  I must say it looked very pretty going into the oven.
Here is the final product.  It came out looking so good and smelled wonderful.  How could it not with all that ooey gooey cheese.
The taste test proved this is some kick a$$ mac and cheese.  This is certainly not a dish to make all the time, but I think this makes a great party dish, and despite the fat content, when compared to some party dishes, at least there are some veggies in here and some fiber.  I will probably use less cheese next time, but I often stick to the exact recipe the first time through, maybe changing 1-2 small things.
Speaking of fat content…Look what we got when we paid February’s rent.
Our landlord owns a grocery store and when we pay rent we drop it off at their work.  It’s just a habit since they used to live above the store and only recently moved.  Whenever we pay rent we get goodies.  This time it was the local donuts and cream puffs pictured above.  They were a nice treat.

Speaking of which, look at this nice treat!!!
I won some Bob's Red Mill flours from a giveaway over at Judy's Kitchen.  Judy really knows how to bake so if you have never visited her blog, make sure to check it out.

I am really looking forward to experimenting with these flours.  I was sent whole wheat pastry flout and the high fiber coconut flour.  If I remember correctly, Judy made some muffins using these and I will probably be giving those a try (hopefully) sometime soon.
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Another great find of mine were these locally made yogurt.  I spotted them out of the corner of my eye while waiting at the checkout in the local Portuguese grocery store.  I could not resist the cow print on the cup.  These are different from the local yogurts I normally buy and they are from a different dairy farmer all together. 
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This was some seriously good yogurt.  There is nothing like real, fresh yogurt.  I say real because I hate when there is gelatin in yogurt as a thickener, mostly because that means I won’t eat it (no gelatin for me), but also because I just don’t like that consistency (hah biased, I think I don’t like it because it is gelatin).  I think what I like the most about this is that it is local and I have probably seen these cows around, LOL.  No really, there are an abundance of cows around here and most are dairy. 

There is not really any big farmers here, mostly older men and their sons still working the same land they have for years and milking their cows by hand.  I have seen some not done by hand, but I have also been driving to work and had to stop in amazement (and the old school look) of a man milking cows and then heading the the nearest “milk station”.  Not sure about the whole process, but only a few houses down from ours is a station where the farmers take their milk and process it, probably cleaning and pasteurizing.  They are part of what seems like a union and they seem friendly and help each other out, but as best as I can tell, they are independent farmers.  This appeals to me so much more than large US farms, especially ones that mass produce yogurt and add gelatin (couldn’t resist adding that).  Most European yogurts, local or not, do not use gelatin.  I am realizing this is an American thing.  Oh well, I live overseas now and I can get fresh, local yogurt.

QUESTIONS:  What is your favorite mac and cheese variation?  Have you ever used those flours from Bob’s Red Mill?  What is your favorite brand of yogurt?  Do you have a local dairy?


Beth said...

That looks like some lovely mac and cheese! I use Bob's Red Mill Potato's good!

Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats said...

That mac and cheese looks awesome! I always make ours homemade as well, changing up the cheese, milks, etc. My in-laws us Bob's Red Mill flours a lot as my mother-in-law cannot eat gluten, they seem to like it!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I would love to have a local dairy where I could get fresh, homemade yogurt!! I don't like the gelatin in yogurts either, I really don't. I actually have a yogurt maker that I need to use one day, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

The mac and cheese sounds amazing. I love the addition of broccoli! I have never made homemade mac and cheese, simply because I don't eat wheat (and when I do I try not to eat a lot). When I have kids I know I will have to make homemade mac and cheese though, and with broccoli in it I will feel like it's much better for them!

Unknown said...

mmm I love all mac and cheese :) I am not partial to any one specific kind as long as there is no powder involved LOL!

I like Wegmans SUPER yogurt!

Lori said...

This mac and cheese looks so good! Since we got back from Brazil I've only shredded my own cheese. We couldn't get shredded where we lived there and now I find it melts so much better without all those stabilizers.

I had a version from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook at a party a few weeks ago. It was filled with cauliflower and really good.

That milk operation sounds amazing. I bet it tastes awesome!

Simply Life said...

oh those look like fun new flours to be able to experiment with!

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