Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rutaroni and Cheese

Ben's not home and I technically don't feel pressed to cook but my friend Lisa raved about this recipe so I decided to give it a try but of course I modified to make it less healthy and to use some of the infinite rutabagas in my fridge. First I cooked the rutabagas and pureed them in the food processor which seems as though it would be an easy thing but took three separate attempts due to visitors and side trips and other good reasons related to the distractingly beautiful weather.

Here is my modified version of the recipe:

Rutatoni and Cheese

1/4 pound dry pasta
10-ounces cooked pureed rutabaga
1 cups milk
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 3/4 cups)
1.5 ounces Monterrey jack, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
dash cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook pasta.
Mix rutabaga and milk into a large saucepan and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheeses and spices. Combine sauce and pasta, transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned

My verdict? Ok, but not terrific. The rutabaga flavor comes on loud and strong so you've got to like it. The texture was more problematic. It was a little gritty rather than smooth and creamy the way macaroni and cheese should be.

Sam's verdict? "I don't like this macaroni and cheese."

I won't be making this again but I'll eat the leftovers for lunch without complaining. So much for the thought of hiding vegetables in other foods.

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