Comfort Food Mashup: Rasam Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

December 28, 2014

Rasam Mac-n-Cheese

This is one of those recipes born from a mixture of comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorites, and it’s not really mac-n-cheese to me unless I make it like I had it as a kid – with Velveeta. A few weeks ago I had a leftover hunk of Velveeta in the refrigerator, and I decided why not try this new recipe I saw on America’s Test Kitchen – a macaroni with tomatoes – with Velveeta cheese.

I’ve had other macaronis with tomatoes, most notably a lightened version from Martha Stewart eons ago, which is where the idea came from to top this dish with roasted tomatoes. It was good, even though truth be told, I’m not a huge tomato fan. I assume the darkened color the red lended the cheesy dish on ATK is what hooked me into wanting to try this dish. At the last minute, as I was about to pour the macaroni into a baking dish, I looked up and saw a vial of rasam powder in my spice rack. That’s when inspiration hit. I added a couple of spoonfuls of masala to my dish and stuck it into the oven. (more…)

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Comfort Food Grows Up and Evolves

January 27, 2011

Mac n Cheese with Broccoli

Macaroni and cheese has long been a favorite of mine (as I’m sure it is for many of you). Growing up, Mom always made our mac-n-cheese “from scratch”. Hers was a simple recipe. Boil some shells, chunk up some Velveeta, and stir, stir, stir until it all melts. That’s it, no milk, no butter. In fact, when someone added those things to mac n cheese, it tasted weird to me. I just wanted Mom’s.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to add a little milk and butter to my version of Mom’s. I think it was in college and I was running a little low on Velveeta, so I had to stretch it out somehow. I decided that wasn’t half bad, and I could eat that again if I had to. A few years later, and at a luncheon I had baked macaroni and cheese. The kind that has a bechamel sauce base, and bread crumbs on top. This took me back to “something’s not quite right with this”. Additions to my macaroni are apparently an acquired taste, but out of the necessity to stretch what’s in the cupboard or fridge, my palate learns to adapt. And that’s how I ended up making this Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli. (more…)

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