Mac’n’Cheese and Caipirinhas

Posted on July 24, 2011

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Sunday dinner is back in action. We had our second dinner tonight. Complete with a food shopping trip, and some surprisingly good mixed drinks. Last but not at all least we watched Moonstruck, which always makes me happy.

Caipirinha and Witkus Mac'n'Cheese

What the Christ is in Velvetta. Seriously, people. What the hell is it? It comes as a block of “cheese food product” it’s a strange color, weird consistency, and ever slightly more bizarre is it’s color. We were making this from my friend’s sister’s recipe. It’s similar to or perhaps the same as the recipe that is used at the Hard Rock – or so I’ve heard. We stuck to the recipe, though I made a TON of creeped out faces every time the word Velveeta came up, and when I had to touch it. According to my research:

“In the 1980s, Velveeta used the advertising jingle, “Colby, Swiss and Cheddar, blended all together” in its US television commercials to explain its taste and texture. ” -wiki

Also it’s sold in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, and South Korea.

Ironically, created by a Swiss man.

Anywho. We boiled pasta, put velveeta, milk, italian sausage, cayenne pepper, fresh crushed black pepper, and shredded cheddar, and possibly a few other things I’m forgetting together until it was melted, stirred in diced roasted red peppers, and the pasta, which we then put in a lasagna dish, sprinkled with a bit of bread crumbs, parm cheese and fresh parsley (chopped up really small) and baked at 350 for a few minutes until it looked like it had set, and it was a little bit crispy on the top.

We also added a bit more pasta than the recipe called for, so I whisked up a bit more milk and “mexican cheese” that I had leftover from taco night earlier in the week so that it would not be too dry.

The strange thing I found about velveeta (which my better half mentioned before I could articulate) was that while it melts well, it happens to also feel like it’s drying out your mouth at the same time… “Wet, but dry, smooth, but not” or something like that is how it was described. It really is a bizarre whey product. This was the second time I’ve ever had velveeta in my life (knowingly/on purpose) and I have to say, I’m not really a fan. It was good to try, and I liked the spicy taste of the cayenne pepper, but the velveeta killed it a bit.

I wondered as a chewed, would you get the same creamy texture with less of the dry feeling if you used cheddar and cream cheese? I will perhaps try that some time. I really like making a roux/sauce, which is how I’ve always made baked mac n cheese.

Mac

On to drinks! I have set my friends on to caipirinhas. It’s something that was JUST TOO GOOD to keep to myself. And finally, not only have I found at least two people who actually appreciate the drink as much as I do. I can make a fucking good one here at home.

I don’t have a muddler. This upset me to no end, but finally today, after interrogating the poor guy at our local liquor store, I figured I would just have to make do with what I had at home, and find something better than the metal ice cream scoop I was trying to use before. I used my Grey Goose shaker that I received recently from a really cool private tasting/party that we went to. And magically – it worked! Muddle with what, you ask? The handle end of a large wooden spoon that we have. I muddled the crap outta those limes.

Let me learn you something: Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane, produced since the 16th century, it is the third most consumed distillate in the world. Main ingredient to make caipirinhas. Many employees at liqour stores will look at you like you are nutzo. Fear not. Go to a liquor store near a population of Brazilians, ask at Brazilian restaurant, or google the hell out of it. I’ve only found it at our local Kappy’s Liquor store. Go git it! Cut up a whole lime,toss in shaker, muddle, muddle, muddle, add about 1-2 1/2 tbs sugar (depending on your sweet tooth, or desire to taste that much cachaça…) add a bit of ice, throw 2 1/2 oz of cachaça – SHAKE, pour, enjoy.

caipirinha

Clean up was slightly more difficult than other nights, due to the stickiness of cheeses, but other than that it was a quick and easy meal.

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Posted in: pasta, sauce/dip