Mac And Cheese, UPC Style, Take One!


Close, but no cigar…

MacAndCheeseTake1_Plated

Looks right! Great color, great photographic texture… The flavor is close – really close. But I’m not there just yet. I will have to do some experimenting with spicing in order to land on this just right. And the texture is close too – but like the flavor, I’m not quite there yet.

Here’s what I did:

I used my recipe for Mashed Rutabaga as the “Cheese” portion. If you haven’t seen it yet, it consists of sliced rutabaga, finely diced ginger, and coconut cream all boiled down to the point where there’s no liquid left then mashed. It’s delicious! But not quite the right flavor. Not yet.

And for the Mac: I used carefully cut Rutabaga and Butternut Squash. I baked them for an hour at 200, hoping to mostly dry them out. Mimicking the actual chemical processes of Macaroni is quite challenging! I realize that we’re all quite used to simply buying it, opening the box, and using it… But it’s a highly complex, extremely processed food which is very very difficult to replicate using whole foods. But I am on the right track!!

Here are the pictures:

MacAndCheeseTake1_ButternutSquashUncutMacAndCheeseTake1_ButternutSquashCuttingTo the left is the butternut squash, cut, but not peeled or sliced yet. And to the right we have the peeled butternut squash, in the process of being cut up.

MacAndCheeseTake1_ButternutSquashBakingPanMacAndCheeseTake1_MacBakedTo the left is the butternut squash being put in the oven to bake the liquid out. And to the right I have added the rutabaga. Rutabaga kept it’s texture better than butternut squash.

MacAndCheeseTake1_CheesePreCookedMacAndCheeseTake1_CheeseTo the left is the mashed rutabaga, in it’s beginning stages. It’s one of my favorite side-dish recipes! To the left is the completed version. It really did come out great!

MacAndCheeseTake1_MacWithCheeseMacAndCheeseTake1_MacWithCheeseMixedTo the left is what the dish looked like as I added the mashed rutabaga “Cheese” to the top. I realized that I would have to mix it before baking – since it would not run/drip down and cover the macaroni.

MacAndCheeseTake1_Pre-BakedMacAndCheeseTake1_CookedOn the left is the picture of the mixed, ready-to-bake version with crushed walnuts sprinkled over the top. And on the right is the completed version. It came out looking great!

It tasted great too! All told, the final version was quite delicious, and there’s no reason for me to be less-than-pleased with how it turned out. Except that it’s not Mac&Cheese. While it’s an interesting dish, with interesting flavors, and interesting textures, it’s not what I was trying to do. And I will continue to work on that… A quick reminder of what the end goal is supposed to look like:

mac-and-cheese_608

I was close, right?!? But not quite there yet. It was a lot of work, and worth it. And I think I will be able to finalize the recipe on my next attempt! Stay tuned!!!

MacAndCheeseTake1_Plated

2 thoughts on “Mac And Cheese, UPC Style, Take One!

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