Please visit Culture Magazine’s Blog to read all the tasters thoughts and responses to the first three samples we received.
111228 Mac n Cheese
I rarely measure my ingredients and even when I do… it’s “sorta” that amount.
Today, while watching The Players’ Championship, I made a mac n cheese using the 111228 sample, which was the largest of the three I received. Here’s what I did:
Pasta: 12 ounces; Farfalla today… might be elbow next time; whatever I have on hand…
Boneless and Skinless Foster Farms chicken thighs; it’s the only brand allowed at The Manse.
Salt and Pepper to flavor the thighs.
Sesame Oil (I was out of EVOO and too lazy to go to the store…)
½ Sweet Onion – chopped
½ Jalapeno Pepper – chopped (seeds removed)
Jasper Hill Farm’s 111228; approximately 12 ounces; shredded
Fontina Fontal; 5 ounces; shredded
½ stick Butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk; I used 1% because that’s what we had in the fridge
¼ stick Butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
After salting and peppering, I sautéed the chicken thighs in the sesame oil. I prefer thighs to breasts because they have more flavor and are juicier. Around The Manse, we only use local, fresh Foster Farms (never frozen).
While they were cooking, I chopped the onion and jalapeno and shredded the cheeses.
Once the chicken was cooked, I set it aside and once cool, I chopped it into bite size pieces, except for one which I chopped up for The Cat. He Loves fresh chicken and waits patiently by the stove while it cooks.
Using the oil and dripping from the chicken, I sautéed the onion and pepper until tender. I left the onion and jalapeno in the pan and added the ½ stick of butter to the pan.
Once the butter melted I added the flour and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes, to get rid of the flour taste.
Slowly, I added the milk, whisking as I added it and let it cook until it thickened, about 10 minutes. During this process, I cooked the pasta, al dente; knowing it would finish cooking in the oven.
When the cream sauce was ready I removed it from the heat; added the chicken and I folded in the cheeses stirring until fully incorporated into the cream sauce.
I oiled a 9X13 baking dish and added the pasta. I folded in the cheese sauce and topped with panko. Then I drizzled the melted butter on top and sprinkled with a little cayenne powder.
I baked it for 30 minutes and then broiled it for a couple to brown the top. I let it sit for 10 minutes.
When I served it, I topped it with the peas. I never cook the peas, just sit them out and add them at the end.
The Man swooned and I thought it was pretty darn good…