My fridge is packed. And not in a good way. It’s stuffed with neglected containers of meals past, with foods that need to be chopped and cooked and canned…with feta in brine for another couple of weeks, with jars of salsas and jams and pickles that we cracked open just to make sure they had turned out okay.
I needed to do some cleaning out. And part of the clean out resulted in this version of macaroni and cheese.
I didn’t take a lot of process pictures, because it wasn’t until I’d been tossing in a bit of this and a bit of that that I started thinking this might be a good recipe to share. So you’ll have to make do with more words than pictures this time around. It’s pretty simple, so I think you’ll be okay.
It was fun to make. I started with a roux (butter and flour) and then some chardonnay and some milk…and then I started playing. We had one slice of american cheese. Some shredded mozzarella. Some shredded “4-cheese Mexican blend.” Some Feta I’d made a couple weeks ago. And…two 2-oz containers of blue cheese dressing left over from an extra large order of buffalo tenders the other night. Sometimes we cook, sometimes we don’t.
Anyway…oh, and there were several slices of bacon leftover from Sunday’s pancake breakfast. (I know – leftover bacon? What’s wrong with these people?)
And with all that, I still wanted something more.
Red curry paste! Bill recently made a couple of batches, which we (as usual) portioned out in ice cube trays. I wondered how that would work in among the cheese and pasta and bacon….
Here’s the recipe:
Red Curry Macaroni with Five Cheeses and Bacon
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups whole milk
1 slice American cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar (or 4-cheese Mexican blend)
4 oz blue cheese dressing
2.3 oz chopped or crumbled Feta (it’s what I had…I weighed it for accuracy purposes)
2 oz red curry paste
3 strips crisp bacon, chopped fairly small
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound par-cooked pasta (don’t cook it all the way – stop when it’s almost al dente, a few minutes earlier than you’d normally drain it)
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put a large pot of water and a couple tablespoons of salt on to boil.
In a medium sized pot, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook a few more minutes, whisking constantly, then add in the wine, about a quarter cup at a time, whisking in between each addition until smooth. After that, start pouring the milk in around a half a cup at a time, whisking all the while. You should have a smooth, white sauce, basically a béchamel with wine added. Bring just to a boil, then turn the heat down.
Next, switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and start adding the cheese in, bit by bit. I added them in the order listed above, but it really doesn’t matter. Just stir until the mixture is mostly smooth. It might not be completely smooth – the feta doesn’t melt like the others do. At this point, stir in the red curry paste.
While all this is going on, your water will probably come to a boil, you’ll add your pasta, stir it, and check periodically for almost-doneness. When you get to that almost-done point, drain the pasta, then put it back in the pot, pour in the cheese mixture, stir well, add in the bacon and give it another good stir.
Now, pour the whole mess into a 13 x 9” baking dish and put in the oven for about twenty minutes, or until it’s bubbly and starting to brown on top.
Remove from the oven and let it sit about five minutes to set up a bit before serving.