Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baked Brie and Macaroni

This is not the first time I have made macaroni and cheese, nor the first time I have shared a recipe for it. Josephine Pardy's preparation was one of the most widely read posts on this site. Always wanting to play with my food and use up things in the freezer I came up with another version that deserves sharing. Anyone who is a fan of baked brie will love this version.

I had a lot of Brie bits in my freezer leftover from parties, along with a good bit of brie and a cheddar scrap (actually a goat milk cheddar) so I got out the food scale and the grater and went to work. The Brie was frozen allowing it to grate easily into the milk mixture. Always select a ripe, runny brie. It it looks like plastic, it will likely taste like plastic. You can always leave in the pantry covered with a bit of cloth or wax paper until it properly ripens.

1 1/2 pounds brie
1/2 pound bleu
1/2 pound of various scraps including cheddar
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup whole milk
1 medium grated onion (you can do it on the grater, or the food processor)
11 chopped scallions
1 teaspoon creole seasoning (I used the Slap ya Mama brand but you can use what you have on hand)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Several grinds of black pepper
2 diced Roma tomatoes (ripe)
2 cups finely chopped greens (I used mustard greens, but anything, even spinach will do)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 pound of melted butter
1 pound cooked pasta (any small shape that amuses you, I like penne)

Grate cheese into milk, add seasoning and onion and lightly salted greens and tomatoes and pasta. Essentially dump in everything but the bread crumbs and butter and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with melted butter, bake 375 for one hour and it should be bubbly and crisp on top when you remove. Wait a few minutes for the cheese to not be quite so melty before cutting. This is actually better re-heated the next day and I am telling you this because I know. It was lunch.

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