Cultural Exploration for Mac and Cheese Nation

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It is still frosty and chilly around these parts of New England and it is on days like this that I find a baked Mac and Cheese irresistible. Comfort food, as they say, and a well made mac and cheese provides all that and more.

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I like to include lots of vegetables as a base. Mac and Cheese can be boring. All that white food. I roasted onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and turnip to give extra flavor, color and texture. Despite being root vegetables, they add another dimension. I roasted them in olive oil, sea salt and bay leaf.

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The cut of pasta named Chiocciole translates as snails. It is meant to resemble one. This pasta is made from a grain named Kamut, also known as Khorasan wheat. Kamut is an ancient grain. It’s DNA is similiar to the wheat we know but it is a lot older than wheat. Long story short, it’s good for you and you do the exact same things to it as you would wheat.

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The sauce is important. You do not want wall-paper paste.
A classic Bechamel sauce is butter, flour, milk, salt and perhaps nutmeg. Once you add cheese, it assumes a different title in the French kitchen. I used cheddar. And now the sauce is called Sauce Mornay, or cheese sauce. Simples. I also added roasted garlic to my Sauce Bechamel or Beschiamella in Italy. This is going to enhance my roasted root vegetable mac and cheese.

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Bake it. I used parsley and scallion herbed breadcrumbs on top.

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I like to pile the mac and cheese in the baking dish about an inch or so high. It bakes quicker this way. Plus you get little bits of seasoned and herbed breadcrumbs in every mouthful. Thanks for reading.

 

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One thought on “Cultural Exploration for Mac and Cheese Nation

  1. Raymond – Wow! Great job on desribing the Mac and Cheese – ! It sounds amazing! I wanted to let your readers know a little more about KAMUT(R) Wheat – I work for Kamut International, the company charged with brand management of the trademarked grain.

    KAMUT® Brand khorasan is an organic, non-genetically modified, ancient wheat variety similar to durum. In 1990, “KAMUT” was registered as a trademark by the Quinn family in order to support organic farming and preserve the ancient khorsasan wheat variety. Under the KAMUT® Brand name, khorasan wheat must always be grown organically, never be hybridized or modified, and contain high levels of purity and nutrition. Today, Kamut International owns and has registered the KAMUT® trademark in over 40 countries, and is responsible for protection and marketing of all KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat throughout the world.
    KAMUT® khorasan is grown on dryland certified organic farms primarily in Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The grain is prized by consumers who appreciate the grain for its high energy nutrition, easy digestibility, nutty/buttery taste, and firm texture. KAMUT® khorasan wheat is higher in protein, selenium, amino acids, and Vitamin E than most modern wheat and contains essential minerals such as magnesium and zinc. It is used as whole grain berries, whole grain flour, white flour, flakes, and puffs to make a variety of products. Some specific benefits of using KAMUT® khorasan are receiving more nutrients, protein, and taste than most commonly consumed whole wheat – plus supporting organic agriculture and helping to preserve an ancient grain.

    KAMUT® khorasan is a variety of wheat thus has gluten content. A lot of people who are not able to tolerate wheat tell us that they are able to tolerate KAMUT® khorasan wheat. KI has ongoing research to understand why – it is our theory that because KAMUT® khorasan is an ancient grain, it retains the qualities that made it desirable so many years ago.

    My kind regards-

    Jamie

    Jamie Ryan Lockman | Regional Director – North America
    Kamut International, Ltd.
    P.O. Box 4903 | Missoula, MT 59806 | USA
    406.251.9418 phone | 406.251.9420 fax
    jamie.lockman@kamut.com | http://www.kamut.com

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