Wicked Good Mac and Cheese
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
I realize the title might lead you to expect lobster, or at the very least some Gorton's Fish Sticks, but sorry - no seafood here. "Wicked" and a deep love of the Sox are the two things I've retained since leaving New England. This Mac and Cheese recipe is easy, delicious, and cheap, but it also tastes damn near gourmet.
Fact: Kimchi goes with everything - People often mislabel kimchi as being pickled cabbage, but it's actually more closely related to wine than it is with kosher dills. It's fermented. And because it's fermented, it has a complexity of flavor that is unlike anything else...except wine. My point in this ramble is that kimchi goes great with cheese and other aged foods, especially sharp cheddar. Seriously, if you've ever been to a wine and cheese party, wow your friends and throw a kimchi and cheese party (with wine). You'll be the most popular person on the block.
One simple meal that we make in our house is mac and cheese. I've made it many times from scratch, but it makes a mess and is only sometimes "like mamma used to make."It's also really disappointing to slave over something and have your kids think it's gross, which always happens when we make M&C from scratch. We've learned that instead of the impressive scratch mac, it's better to make it from the box, and then adultify some for us.
To that end, you can add what you want, but I think this recipe is where it's at. The sour kimchi enhances the flavor or the boxed cheddar and adds texture, while the Spam does what Spam does.
When making box mac, you should always use butter, milk and yogurt in the sauce. Independently, the powdered flavor pack doesn't really have that much flavor. By adding butter, yogurt, a little bit of milk (or cream), you end up with a thicker and richer tasting sauce.
I swear that one day I am even going to create a palatable kimchi ice cream. It's gonna happen.
1 box of Annie's Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Half of a Spam (box, loaf...?), cubed
1 cup kimchi, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup milk (or cream for richer flavor)
1 tablespoon of cream cheese (optional)
1. Cook noodles as directed. Rinse with cold water and put aside.
2. Separately, add the cubed spam to a hot skillet.
3. After it crisps up, throw in a cup of kimchi and saute together. The older the kimchi, the better.
4. Meanwhile, in the empty noodle pot, add a tablespoon of butter and let it melt over med-low heat. 5. Add a quarter cup of plain yogurt 6. Add a quarter cup of milk (more if you want a wetter consistency) 7. Add cream cheese (optional) and stir those ingredients together well 8. Add in Annie's sauce package and stir 9. When sauce is well mixed, combine the noodles into the sauce and mix thoroughly 10. Finally, add the kimchi-Spam combo and mix it together Put servings in a bowl and top with green onions for your Instagram photo, and...
BOOM. Wicked Good Mac and Cheese.