The Booze –y Cheese Experiment: Results (Pic included!)!!
I guess I’ve fostered the reputation of local Mac N Cheese obsessive on this board because my name came up recently on a rather curious post. The post was a report that when Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is made with wine, it turns into a delish Macaroni and Fondue combo. This totally intrigued me, plus, I thought it’s be a fun change of pace for SO and I who never eat the boxed stuff now, but survived college on it... So I accepted the challenge of trying Booze-y Cheese!
I came back home from grocery shopping and told SO my plan. His eyes lit up as he eagerly agreed to be my guinea pig. And then I took out the box of Mac N Cheese from the bag...
“Hey! That’s not Kraft!”
“No, it’s from Trader Joes, it’s probably better for us than that Kraft stuff...”
“But... it’s not the CHEESIEST!!”
Being a marketing person myself, I just looked at him at awe... 35 years old and still under the spell of the Saturday Morning Cartoons... Damn, my friends are right, we are an evil profession...
Anyway, despite my experiment as now being flagged as majorly flawed, I carried on...
I wanted to make this a meal, so that we could get a CLEAR sense of the cheese and wine flavors. For that reason, I decided to just serve it with a simple grilled chicken breast with Lemom Pepper Seasoning on top. Along side I served a simple spinach salad.
As I began to boil the noodles, I took a look at the directions and was a bit surprised to see that the milk I would be subbing was only 1⁄4 cup! Not much at all! Nevertheless, I did decide to stack the odds a little bit by adding a bit of chopped onion as I melted the butter. Something to give it a base ‘dinner’ flavor incase the wine did overpower.
I added the little cooked elbows back into the pan and then the cheese dust and the 1⁄4 cup of wine, a Riesling, I thought that would work well because it’s flavorful, but not too dry. It mixed well but the smell of wine was strong, and I let the mixture sit for a bit before I served myself a plate... And here is how the results look like...
As for how it tasted... It tasted just like Booze-y Cheese. The wine flavor totally came through and blended with the cheese for an interesting combo, almost LIKE fondue. Further, the onion did help a lot to add a contrasting taste so that I could enjoy the meal with a glass of wine. I was indeed rather pleased. This dish would be a totally fun thing to make at a casual wine party or a girls night in sorta thing! :)
As for SO, he did enjoy it, but swears that if I ‘d used the Original Kraft stuff it would be better... and you know why... ;)
Very interesting post! I've always wanted to try this winey-mac ever since I read about it in a novel (which then became the movie) Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook. In it, the heroine, a single-gal-about-small-town starts making a bachelorette dinner of mac-and-cheese, discovers she's out of milk and... you guessed it, uses white wine instead. She uses Annie's mac though. The owners of Annie's were so delighted that (I heard) they posted her recipe on their website!
Hilarious post. The pic reminds me of a party my SO and I once hosted, right after we moved in with each other. Celebrating the range of our chowish vs. (at the time, his) sub-chowish natures, the appetizers included dates stuffed with blue cheese and almonds and grilled shrimp with molasses alongside pogos and celery stuffed with cheez wiz. As for the KD vs. Trader Joe's update, I'm inclined to agree with your SO - some foods just can't be perfected upon (even if for no other reason than the x factor of childhood comfort feeling adds an unrivaled flavour element). I look forward to future updates on your culinary adventures.