Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mac 'n Cheeze 'n Zuke

Well, I was going to post a recipe for zucchini bread, but my adaptation of Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe in The Bread Bible was really disappointing.

Anyone have a good zuke bread recipe to share?

In the meantime, here's last night's super-comfort-food dish.

Mac 'n "Cheeze" 'n Zukes

I was vegan on and off for a couple years, and though I eat dairy now, I still make macaroni and faux-cheese -- with nutritional yeast instead of the real deal -- because it's got a great flavor that you can't get anywhere else. Mix in some zucchini, and you've got a pot full of creamy awesome. Disclaimer: some people seem to a have an innate hatred for nutritional yeast. If you're one of those people, you're probably better off mixing zucchini into your own recipe for mac 'n cheese. Serves 4-6
  • 12-16 oz medium-sized pasta (like rotini), cooked al dente
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 dried cayenne pepper, chopped
  • kosher salt, to taste (three pinches or so)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast, plus some for topping
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tasty olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 medium white Lebanese zucchini, sliced into sixteenth-inch rounds
  • more salt! more pepper!
  1. If you have a dutch oven or any other oven-safe pot that will hold the dish, it's nice to use that to build the sauce, then pour in the pasta and bake it all without dirtying an extra dish. If you don't though, a casserole dish does just fine.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. Over medium-high heat, melt butter and add flour when hot. Stir to get rid of any lumps, and cook until the mixture has slightly deepened in flavor and smells nutty, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add milk and water, whisking constantly. Add soy sauce, mustard, cayenne, and salt. Lower heat to medium-low and cover until thickened and boiling, stirring occasionally. Stir in nutritional yeast and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, and then add pasta. Pour into casserole dish if you need to.
  4. Top with a tablespoon or so of nutritional yeast and a good drizzle of olive oil. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. After it foams, add the onions and a good pinch of salt. Stir and cook until onions are soft, a couple minutes.
  6. Add zucchini. Toss occasionally until zucchini slices are soft and translucent. Top with more pepper. (Zucchini loves pepper!)
  7. When the pasta comes out of the oven, mix the zucchini into the pasta. Allow to cool before serving -- that thick sauce is like napalm!

1 comment:

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