Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gouda Mac and Cheese...Janky Kitchen Style

In our efforts to make our power weekend and I set to cooking like fiends for our time that we were chained to our building.  This recipe is more so an experimentation of things rather than an actual, factual recipe.  It's good for those days when you're stuck in your room with nothing to do, but you're craving a home cooked meal with pasta that branches out from the traditional "I'm so going to cook today, look at me with my noodles and...butter."  So here it is! A gouda macaroni and cheese recipe that will tantalize your tastebuds, impress your residents and friends, and make you look like you know what you're doing as you navigate around the kitchen.

Gouda Macaroni and Cheese, College Style
(Due to the fact that our cooking utensils are limited, most of these measurements are estimated.  It's better if you taste as you go along)

One block of gouda cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons of Rosemary leaves, dried
2 tablespoons of butter, I used Earth Balance
1/2 package of pasta, I used fusilli
Salt and pepper to taste

To Begin:

Start with a janky community kitchen, complete with dirty dishes in the sink, and a mess strewn everywhere.

For Example:
Note: The dishes in the sink.

Fill a kettle (clean preferably) with enough water to where it stops halfway up the pot.  Salt the water and turn it on high, adding about a tablespoon of olive oil to the water once it starts to come to a rolling boil.  As the water is heating up, take the gouda and cut it into small cubes to help with the melting process once the pasta has finished cooking.  (We didn't know going into this that gouda cheese is nearly impossible to melt, so cutting it down into the smallest unit possible will help to accelerate this process)
We cut it into strips.  Good idea.
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and olive oil and let it cook for 8 minutes.  Once the pasta has finished cooking, strain it leaving about 5 tablespoons of pasta water in the bottom.  Add the gouda, butter, rosemary, and Italian seasoning directly into the kettle and stir.  Caution, stirring and melting gouda is a process, so exercise patience when trying to break down the cheese.  Should you find that this is increasingly difficult, adding a little bit of liquid such as cream or milk will help, and it will make the cheese smoother and more delicious.  Keep stirring, and stirring...and guessed it! Stirring.

 Or you can stop for a dobro break like Caroline is doing.

Once it's ready, serve it in your favorite polka dotted Pampered Chef bowls and cups, and enjoy! In the words of Ina, how easy was that?

Bask in its deliciousness, it's okay to drool.  

Like we said before, this is more of a taste as you go recipe.  These spices we used were simply ones that we had available while cooking it the first time, but this recipe is also good when using Nutmeg.  I highly recommend grating the nutmeg yourself, but packaged works just as fine.  As for the pasta, you can use your favorite type, we just used the one that we had on hand.  Happy cooking!