Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Creamiest Vegan Mac n' Cheez EVER




When my close friend ditched Friday plans with me to spend time getting some catscans to see if she could potentially have a kidney stone (worst excuse EVER!! ; ), I first trekked down to good ol' Edison's in the hopes of ordering a pizza, since it had been a while. To my horror, the pizza half of Edison's had one of those lame-ass signs in the window that said PARDON THE DUST: WE WILL BE OPENING AGAIN SOON. I cried a bit as I ventured around the artwalk, cheering up a bit at the sight of my favorite long-standing penis exhibit in the basement of Asterisk. I then headed home and busted out this long-awaited vegan mac n' cheese recipe at 10 o'clock at night, looking forward to snuggling up with a nice warm bowl of "cheezy" noodles under a toasty blanket with my cats while I watched yet another gory slasher film since I'm trying to gorge on them this lovely month of October because I at least have an excuse that keeps me from looking QUITE so crazy.

Anyways, this mac n' cheez requires using THREE pans at a time, so I was skeptical, as I hate washing dishes. I was also a bit skeptical since it didn't exactly have a lot of spices or flavoring nuances to spark up the potential flavor of the sauce. No paprika. No cayenne. No soy sauce. Nada.

Needless to say, this caused me to tinker with it just a tiny bit, out of fear of it being too bland. Now, do not yell at me, because I didn't neurotically measure out the tinkerings I toyed with--I just shook and drizzled. But I'll at least include a list of additions I made to the recipe. What seems to be so very cool about this recipe is that the white sauce is pretty standard: make it and leave it alone. The "cheez" sauce is where you can play a bit. Essentially, it's a less watered-down standard vegan mac n' cheez sauce, so whatever seasonings you typically like in your mac n' cheez you can sorta just throw in here.

And seriously, folks: I cannot emphasize this enough: This recipe is awesome. I like my standard mac n' cheez that I've created since it's easy and tastes yummy. But *THIS* mac n' cheez is creamy and decadent. That is what most impressed me about it. It seems to me to be a bit difficult sometimes to come up with a truly creamy vegan mac n' cheez, but this one is it, folks. Granted, it coagulates as soon as you refrigerate it, and you won't ever get back that original creamy consistency with the leftovers. But even so, chowing down on it for lunch the next few days, I was *still* impressed by how fricking good it is.

And please, heed this suggestion as well: crumbling up some Ritz crackers on top brings the whole recipe home. I don't know why, but it was as though Jesus came down and made Ritz crackers JUST so they could find their way back home to this recipe.

WHITE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c. vegan margarine

  • 1/4 c. flour

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 2 c. vegan soydrink

CHEEZ SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c. "good tasting" nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 c. cornstarch

  • 1 T. flour

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1 c. water

  • 2 T. oil

  • 1/2 t. Dijon mustard


  • This is where you can toy with the recipe by adding spices/seasonings of your choosing. I added on the following:

  • Paprika

  • Soy sauce

  • Garlic powder

ETC.
  • One box of your favorite macaroni noodles, cooked according to the package directions

  • A couple handfuls of Ritz Crackers, crumbled

DIRECTIONS

For the white sauce: Combine margarine, flour, and salt over low heat. When it bubbles, gradually add the soydrink. Cook and stir until it is thick and begins to bubble. Remove from heat.

For the cheez sauce: Mix nutritional yeast, cornstarch, flour, dry seasonings of your choosing, and salt in a small saucepan. Add water, oil, mustard, and any other wet seasonings of your choosing. Cook and stir until it thickens and bubbles.

Putting it all together: Preheat oven to 375 F. Add the cheez sauce to the white sauce. Mix cooked pasta with "cheese" sauce. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with Ritz cracker crumbs (or bread crumbs, if you hate Jesus). Bake for 30 minutes.

(Original recipe HERE--thanks, Pleasantly Plump Vegan for giving it a shout-out, otherwise I never would've even known to check it out)

4 comments:

Babette said...

I love this recipe! I've done it many times already, and it is by far the best vegan mac n cheese I have tasted so far.

Laura said...

OMG! This is the best figgin' mac and 'cheese' I've ever had. It's so much more yummier that any REAL mac and cheese too!

Anonymous said...

This IS awesome, thanks! I used rice macaroni and made the sauces with a mix of plain rice milk and almond milks, substituting those for water in the "cheese" sauce as well. Upped the nutritional yeast by 1/8 of a cup and added onion and garlic powders, paprika, a spoonful of good spicy mustard, some bottled hot sauce, and a big dash of soy sauce. Topped it with fresh crumbs made by grating the heels of a loaf of Dave's Killer Bread and seasoned them as well before baking, baked up crispy on top of creamy and tastes superb!

Vegan Began said...

This has been one of my favorite recipes for a few years now! So thanks for sharing. I will share too: Adding diced mushrooms to the pasta before you bake it is PHENOMENAL. Do it.