Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Best Mac & Cheese Ever & Awesome Green Beans Too


A few years ago Mr. Sojourner and I spent two weeks in the Netherlands for a master's class that he was taking.  (Some dear friends of ours watched the girls for us.  I am not sure who had more fun; them or us).  The original spot the school had worked out to do the classes in the mornings did not work out and so we ended up having to do them at Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam.  Poor us.  After class we would all eat lunch there too.  Again, poor us.  This is where I fell in love with their "Twisted Mac & Cheese" (which I thought was about the best thing I had ever tasted).  They have it in both an entree and a side.  I found the entree to be an overwhelming portion so I opted for the side and would split green beans with Mr. Sojourner too.

At the end of May/beginning of June, for our 10th anniversary, Mr. Sojourner an I took a trip to London.  Just the two of us.  (It was amazing and I will have to share about it someday soon.)  We decided that we would have to hit up the Hard Rock Cafe London for some awesome mac & cheese and free soda refills (free refills are mostly an American phenomenon that we miss living overseas).  Oh, and because London is the original Hard Rock Cafe.  (But mostly because of the mac & cheese and free refills.)
Anyways, after that trip I started thinking about how I would like to attempt this mac & cheese.  I found this recipe (scroll down) at CopyKat.com.  (I will, by the way, be attempting more recipes from there in the future.)  I convinced a few loving friends and relatives to send me a care package with Velveeta and red pepper flakes.  I patiently waited for them to get here.

TWISTED MAC AND CHEESE

2 cups cavatappi pasta, any pasta works (I used shells)
1/3 cup whole milk
4 oz Velveeta
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (I had white cheddar)
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack (we can't get this here so I added mimolette)
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper (I didn't have this so skipped it)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell pepper (We can't get this so I used red pepper flakes and it worked pretty well, I was surprised)
2 tsp seasoned breadcrumbs, italian style (I grated crackers similar to melba toast)
2 tsp grated parmesan
1/4 tsp finely minced parsley (I used dried)

1. Use a large saucepan to cook pasta following the directions on the package, then drain
2. Combine milk, Velveeta, cheddar cheese, jack cheese, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in the same saucepan, and heat over low heat for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Add pasta and roasted pepper to the pan, and then toss to coat pasta.
3. Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley in small bowl.
4. Pour pasta into a serving bowl and then sprinkle parmesan breadcrumbs over the top.
Serves 4

We also had green beans.  I cleaned them and snapped off the ends.  I boiled them in chicken broth.  When they were about finished, I fried up small bits of bacon and onion.  I drained the beans and then poured the bacon, onions, and drippings over the beans and combined.  Then I served them and the Little Sojourners ate every last one.

This was probably my favorite meal this year.  Seriously.  (Okay, second to our meal at Gordon Ramsay's Clairidge in London.)

Kind regards, 
Photobucket
*Linking up to Try New Adventures Thursday at Alicia's Homemaking.

4 comments:

  1. WOW. Very yum.
    I am, however, quite distressed that you do not have any cayenne pepper! Makes me want to send it to you. Not sure how to survive without it.

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  2. My daughter saw the thumbnail of this and immediately requested that I make it. Thanks for the recipe!

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  3. the mac-n-cheese sounds delish!

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  4. I hope you guys like it as much as we did! Thanks for stopping by.

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