Recipe Macaroni and Cheese My Way

Discussion in 'Rice, Pasta, Pulses and Grains' started by CraigC, 17 Dec 2017.

  1. CraigC

    CraigC Über Member

    SE Florida
    We were sceptical about this recipe when we saw it made. We almost passed it by. Glad we didn't as it has become a favorite. I don't know if everyone has access to tasso, but if you have a smoker or gas grill, it is easy to make. I think a close substitution would be hot capicola or really spicy Spanish chorizo.

    Macaroni and Cheese My Way Recipe courtesy Jan Birnbaum
    18 pieces extra-large shell pasta
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 cup, 1/4" diced tasso ham
    5 large shallots, minced or you can use red onion
    1 clove garlic, mined
    1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 cup white wine
    2 cups cream
    1 cup grated fontina
    1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    18 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2 cups gently packed spinach
    Kosher salt and ground white pepper
    Hot pepper sauce, to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
    1) Preheat broiler.
    2) Bring a large post of water to a rolling boil, add pasta shells and cook al dente, according to package instructions.
    3) Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the olive oil and tasso, cook until just crisp,
    4) Add shallots and garlic. Cook and stir over moderate heat just until shallots are translucent.
    5) Add the flour, cook stirring constantly to blend and toast the flour, about 5 minutes.
    6) Add the white wine, reduce until almost dry.
    7) Add the cream, bring to a simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    8) Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, shrimp and spinach. Gently stir until cheese is melted, spinach is wilted and shrimp is beginning to turn pink.
    9) Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.
    10) Season with hot sauce, to taste.
    11) Drain the pasta, making sure to shake all of the water off and out of the shells.
    12) In a large ovenproof baking dish, place drained shells.
    13) Add the cheese and shrimp mixture and gently fold into the pasta.
    14) Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and chopped parsley.
    15) Place under the broiler until the breadcrumbs are toasted about 2 to 3 minutes.
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2017
    ElizabethB and morning glory like this.
  2. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Well, once again I'm learning about new things! I'd never heard of tasso ham before. This recipe is way beyond Mac 'n Cheese! :D
    ElizabethB likes this.
  3. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Lafayette, LA. US
    @morning glory

    Tasso recipe.

    The author refers to butt roast. A misnomer. What we call butt roast is actually a pork shoulder roast.

    Available on line. Richard's and Savoy's are my faves.

    We usually smoke our own. I use Tasso for flavor - in gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, beans cooked with ham hocks and tasso. I cut it into very small pieces 1/4" to 1/2". It is for flavor - not an additional meat.
    morning glory likes this.
  4. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

  5. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Lafayette, LA. US
    :oops: I have to run out but will try to find another for you.
  6. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Brighton, MA.
    I've made mac & cheese with ham before, but it was with regular ham. :wink:
    ElizabethB likes this.
  7. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    This baby has shrimp and spinach too. :D
    ElizabethB likes this.
  8. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Brighton, MA.
  9. cookieee

    cookieee Regular Member

    South Florida
    Craig, are you sure you don't know my husband? lol Thanks so much, can't wait to show it to him.

    Tip: I have seen this done once in many, many years. Our go to M & C puts sliced tomatoes on top and then covers them with the breadcrumbs and bake.
    morning glory likes this.
  10. Mountain Cat

    Mountain Cat Active Member

    Looks like my sort of mac and cheese (although I'd skip the bread crumbs). Not familiar with the tasso ham, but worth trying it!
  11. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Brighton, MA.
    There's probably a million ways to do mac & cheese. I've tried lots of them!! :wink:
  12. medtran49

    medtran49 Über Member

    SE Florida
    I do that most of the time because I forget!
  13. rascal

    rascal Über Member

    Mac n cheese is really a murican thing, IMO, I would never try this recipe, just too many steps and ingredients. However I would eat it if someone cooked it for me. I make a macaroni dessert, prolly my fave dessert. 5 ingredients.
    Not knocking it Craig, just not my cup of tea. :)

  14. Shermie

    Shermie Veteran

    Brighton, MA.
    Never heard of it as a desert before! :unsure:
  15. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    With cheese? :D
    rascal likes this.

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