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Doctored mac and cheese (maccheroni alla zucca?)

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I was craving pumpkin last night, so I doctored up a package of Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese with some pumpkin puree and it was actually pretty tasty:

Cooked and drained the macaroni according to package directions. 

In a small skillet, fried 2 cloves chopped garlic and about 10 leaves of chopped fresh sage in a bit of olive oil, until it was fragrant and the sage was slightly crispy.

Returned the macaroni to the pot along with the cheese powder, a can of pumpkin puree, about half a cup of nonfat cottage cheese, and dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of cold-pressed hazelnut oil. Added the fried garlic/sage mixture and stirred it all together. Just before serving, I stirred in some chopped fresh curly parsley.

I’ve done this before without the cheese powder, and it usually comes out kind of bland. If I were doing it “right,” I’d add a bunch of Parmesan (and brown butter) instead, but this way was about 20x cheaper for a similar nice salty umami punch. The cottage cheese, which I had added mainly for protein, melted a bit and got just a tiny bit gooey, which I wasn’t really expecting–I thought it would behave more like ricotta.

It hit the spot as far as my pumpkin cravings, and was fast and slightly more healthy than eating mac ‘n’ cheese by itself. 

Rahul was out of town for a meeting, so I told him about the meal later. He said (since he works on marketing for Kraft and apparently has a mental inventory of the Kraft products in our house) “Where did you get Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Did you buy it?”

I said, “Not literally Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese–the stuff from Sam’s Club in the blue box.”

He said, “Why did you call it Kraft if it’s not actually Kraft?”

I said, “Because if I had said just ‘mac ‘n’ cheese,’ my default assumption would be that it’s real, homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. ‘Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese’ is how I identify that stuff with the orange powder.”

Rahul: “Interesting.”

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Written by orata

September 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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