Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tailgate MexiMac

1 family size box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for Americans, or Kraft Dinner if you're not.
1 pound chorizo
2 pounds cheddar cheese
buckwheat flour
onion powder
garlic powder
ancho chile powder

Cut the cheese into small pieces or grate it. Uniformity is unimportant here. I only rough-chop, though grated cheese is needed for one of the last steps.

Boil the noodles in water spiced with the onion salt and garlic powder. drain, and add onion powder and garlic powder. Toss and let rest.

Brown the chorizo on both sides till dark. Remove, scatter a handful of buckwheat flour spiked with ancho chile powder (toasting is tasty!) in the pan, and mix with a silicone spatula before adding milk.

The fattier the milk, the faster this will come together. You can do it with skim milk, but it'll take longer. Whole milk is best. 1 percent will take longer than 2 percent and so on. If it really isn't coming together and it should be by now, add flour or coat the chorizo with flour and add them.

I would not recommend using buckwheat flour with skim milk, but it's feasible. Whole with all-purpose is WAY faster. Don't cook the roux too long - you want it as blonde as possible, and remember like Emeril says, you don't know total thickness potential until it boils. With less fat in the milk, until it boils for a while, the same applies.

Stir constantly. If left unattended, this will froth over and destroy things. Like your hand if you grab the wrong part of the pan to move it to a cold burner. Ow.

(Ironically, while I was finishing this dish, my housemate's cocoa bubbled over just like my sauce did.)

Once it gets thick enough to pass the "draw your finger through the middle of the back of a spoon coated with the sauce, if it stays clear, your sauce is thick enough" test, add the cheese and don't fucking stop stirring. Failure to maintain vigilence now is an error exclusively for the weak-minded.

Once the sauce is tasty, balance its flavors. I added some more of that divine Gettysburg barbecue sauce because I always want vinegar and tomato in my mac and cheese, even if it's not coming from ketchup. Two dollops balanced an aggressive saltiness, which happened because I added the stock cheese packet as well. So if you do that, use some type of tomato and vinegar, be it ketchup or someone's homemade apple cider barbecue sauce. (Must go see Bill again.)

Fresh black pepper would be nice right here, and its flavor won't be wasted especially if you add it right before serving.

Top with breadrumbs and grated cheese, and put under the broiler until pretty. Let cool until non-molten. This isn't as thick as my other macaroni attempts.


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