I love boxed mac and cheese as much as the next gal – despite the supremely fake orange color, the powder cheese mix, and 12 months shelf life there’s something nostalgic and tasty about it. That said, this is a childhood treat due for an upgrade and is worth the effort to elevate!
This month Bon Appetit agrees and featured several baked pasta dishes with a mac & cheese cover story. I LOVE home made mac & cheese, and while I have a great recipe, I decided to indulge in the cover recipe as a Sunday evening treat…
Tasty tasty – my Pimento Mac & Cheese was delightful. Bell pepper, garlic and peppadews give it a kick. Cheddar adds the flavor while mozzarella makes it feel really cheesy.
I think the thing I enjoyed the most about this recipe was the use of peppadew peppers. I discovered these gems in Germany, where they sell them packaged with cream cheese in the middle, and again in South Africa where it’s common to put them on pizza. You can easily find them here at the ‘olive bar’ at Safeway – these mild little peppers usually come in an oil/brine, which makes them a little indulgent, but they’re almost sweet and oh so good. They’re a great addition to a salad, or an easy appetizer and I highly recommend giving them a go!
While I liked this mac & cheese – I do have one major complaint… It’s not SUPER creamy. That’s one of the best parts of mac & cheese! I want it to be cheesy, creamy and saucy. There was loads of flavor here, but less cheesy-ness than I like. There is no cream or bechamel sauce, which I noted before actually making it, but after eating it I definitely think starting with the milk/flour base would add that missing substance… Something to try next time as I continue to think outside the blue box!