Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Cheezening in Review

We know we've kept you in suspense for the week, but we've only now awoken from the food coma of last week's Macaroni & Cheese cookoff. Gathering just after 8pm Sunday night, the three chefs each presented their take on this American classic, complemented with some fried chicken from Ezell's to make it all a bit more healthy. Eating and judging commenced immediately, as did the viewing of A Christmas Story.

We didn't win it all. We took home the Judge's Favorite award, along with the only score of 5 on the evening, but we didn't win. The lovely FierceFlawless took home the prize, and it was well-deserved. Her entrant boasted remarkable density without feeling heavy, with the right balance of cheese to noodle, with an underlying hint of spice. J-Justice went with larger noodles, and his cheese mixture was so creamy that "silky" becomes an apt descriptor. Our own version featured four cheeses and shells, giving each bite a surprise quality as the melted cheese oozed from its housing. As clichéed as it sounds, there truly were no losers, as our mac & cheese-filled meals over the next few days could attest.

One of the best developments during this competition was the decision that this should be a regular occurence. Initially proposed as monthly, this might be moved to quarterly, but that's still TBD. The winner decides the next dish (the next is still unannounced). So expect more cooking posts in the coming months. If you're up for competing, we're taking all comers.

As promised, here are the recipes:

via Puhleez
Special Notes:
Used 1/3 the flour
Used more cheese

via Martha Stewart
Special Notes:
Added 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic
Double the cayenne
Use large macaroni
Use both pecorino and gruyere, half of recommended of each

TwoRedShoez (Us):
via My Mom
1 12 oz. package macaroni shells
1 egg, beaten
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk
1 small container (8oz?) sour cream
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced, sliced, whatever
Cheese - 2 1/2 cups (we're guessing, we just sorta made it up), half cheddar, rest mozzarella, provolone, parmesan mix
Optional: breadcrumbs mixed with thyme

- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Prepare macaroni, drain
- Sauté onions and garlic (while macaroni cooks)
- Combine cream of mushroom/evaporated milk. Stir (clumps are ok).
- In a large bowl, coat noodles with egg. Add cream of mushroom/milk. Add onion/garlic. Add cheese. Stir 'til uniform. Add sour cream.
- Add mixture to baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.
- OPTIONAL: Brown breadcrumbs with butter in a pan. Sprinkle on top of mac & cheese mixture.
- Bake for 25 mins, until top is browned.

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  • I should mention that I cut my recipe in half to make it, and I kind of just eyed all the spices instead of measuring them. plus, I used crushed garlic too. technically my recipe was just about the same as jason's, but they turned out differently. strange.

    By Blogger brittany, at 7:12 PM  

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