Saturday, December 1, 2007

Grown-up Mac & Cheese

I had a chunk of ever-so-stinky old raclette in my fridge, some leftover heavy cream from my pumpkin pie expedition, and some mushrooms that were really needing use. And, I had some leftover roasted acorn squash. And, I'd been craving something creamy and starchy, since the snow is currently dumping all over the Midwest. And, since necessity is the mother of invention . . . I created my new invention, something I'll try freezing and thus may be eating for several weeks: Grown-up Macaroni and Cheese. All I can say is, Yum. It may sound kind of odd, but man it's rich and delicious, without being very cheesey.

Grown-up Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked (with ample salt in the water) and drained
  • 1 chunk raclette, trimmed of rind and chopped into small pieces
  • Small amount of creamy blue cheese (I used a little hunk of leftover cambozola), cut into small pieces
  • some heavy cream (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • some butter (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • 3 zucchini squash, thinly sliced in half-circle shapes
  • 1 acorn squash, roasted
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, steamed, drained, then chopped into small pieces
  • 3/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • meat from 1 Amish rotisserie chicken, chopped into small pieces (omit for vegetarians)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a little olive oil

  1. When the pasta is finished, empty out the pot and put it back on the burner over low heat.
  2. Put the butter in the bottom of the pot, pour in the cream, and add the cheese, stirring frequently to prevent any scorching or other troubles.
  3. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms and zucchini in olive oil. Season with a little fresh-ground pepper. Saute until they are nicely browning and the zucchini is getting soft.
  4. When the cheeses are melting nicely into the cream and butter, scrape the acorn squash out of its shell and mix into the pot. Add the cooked pasta, mixing well.
  5. Add the sauteed mushrooms and zucchini and the steamed broccoli.
  6. Add the chicken pieces, if you're using them, and mix it all up.
  7. (I'm contemplating an added step of putting it in a baking pan covered with parmesan and other Italian cheeses and baking it for a while. But honestly, it's so good just like this, I'm not going to bother right now!)
This makes such a big batch, it would be a good potluck dish. I'm going to try freezing individual portions for lunches and I'll let you know how that goes.