Lately I’ve started watching the Cooking Channel to keep me company while I cook. There are a few shows on there that keep my attention and sometimes I have to be careful not to burn my dinner when I get too engrossed. I like David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and Roger Mooking Everyday Exotic. Today I’m sharing my version of Roger’s Curried Macaroni and Cheese, but mine is completely gluten, dairy and soy free.
My vegetarian son Andy who loves Indian food and I, were watching this episode together and he looked and me and said I had to make that for him. Well what’s a mom to do. So every trip to the grocery store I would look for the long green hot chile peppers. When I found it I knew we were in business. I also had to make sure I was stocked up on Daiya Cheese, Earth Balance Butter Substitute, gluten free pasta elbows and the gluten free flour.
This recipe is like most traditional macaroni and cheese dishes. It starts with a bechamel sauce, add in the cheese and then the pasta. When making a bechamel one typically uses equal measures of butter to flour. This will make a rich thick sauce. I love what Roger did with this sauce. When melting the butter, he added in red onion and a green hot chile split lengthwise. The flavors from those ingredients have a chance to combine before adding the flour. It’s a great idea that I’m going to use as I continue on with my list of variations on Mac & Cheese.
I made this over the weekend and Andy had some leftover tonight. He said it still tasted great and had held up well. The only thing he would change would be to add in one more green chile for a little more heat. I’m freezing the rest so we’ll see how that turns out on reheating.
Curried Macarioni and Cheese- Gluten, Diary and Soy Free
1/2 cup Butter- I use Earth Balance natural buttery spread that is dairy and soy free
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 red onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 green chile split lengthwise- I took out the seeds too
1 TB curry powder- I used Penzeys Sweet Curry
3 cups warm milk- I use Almond Milk unsweetened
2 cups Cheese- Daiya Cheddar plus a little more for the top (you can order it online)
1/2 cup Cheese- Daiya Mozeralla plus a little more for the top
gluten free bread crumbs- I used Southern Homestyle Corn Flake Crumbs (look under Food Favorites)
1 8 oz box of Elbow macaroni- I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta (look under Food Favorites)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
Sea Salt or kosher salt to taste
Melt your butter and add in the onion and green chili and cook until soften in a pan, Make sure you have a pan with sides so there is room to mix at the end. Don’t put your heat up too high or your butter will burn. If you are impatient like me, add a little canola oil to the butter so it can take the higher heat without burning. When you see the onion getting soft, add in the garlic too. When that’s ready sprinkle in the curry and combine. Now take a nice deep breath. Wow that smells amazing.
OK, now sprinkle in the flour and combine well. You want to let the flour cook a little. If you find you still have lumps use the back of your spoon to break up or a whisk.
Add in your milk slowly and keep everything moving in that pan. You want to whisk it so there are no lumps. Keep stirring over medium heat until it thickens. Turn off the heat and if you want remove the chile pepper, or wait until it’s covered with all of that cheese and then take it out to eat as a little hot treat while your mac & cheese bakes. (Andy’s idea) Mix in all of your cheese and stir until smooth.
Now while you were doing all of this you had that pasta cooking. The elbow pasta I used says it takes 6-9 minutes to cook. I only gave it around 5 minutes. I wanted it just before al dente. Once mixed with the cheese sauce and baking, it will cook a little more and I didn’t want it to fall apart. Mix the pasta in with the cheese sauce and a little salt. Taste it to make sure it’s the right blend and then pour into your baking dish.
Side note, Sur La Table is having a great sale and I bought these new dishes for only $8 each. I don’t know where I’m going to keep them but so far I’ve been using them every night to either bake in or serve in. Very handy.
OK, now for the finishing touches. Once the mac & cheese is in the baking dish, sprinkle it with some of the bread crumbs and a little cheese. Next I used the same topping that Roger did, asparagus spears. Wash and dry your spears and then break off the bottom woodsy parts by simply bending the spears. They will break at just the right point for each one. Now sprinkle those with bread crumbs and cheese and it’s time to bake.
Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. Sometimes with dairy free cheese it will brown if baked too long. If you have that problem don’t put that last topping of cheese on until right before you take it out of the oven. I didn’t have that problem so mine went on before I put it into the oven.
Here you can see the cooked dish along with another flavor I’ve been playing with, Truffled Mac & Cheese. That recipe still to come.
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Gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free Mac and Cheese? Wow, you're quite the food chemist! That's an impressive challenge. Love the addition of asparagus — not to mention the curry. Interesting ingredient combination and one that sounds wonderful! I also love that blue baking dish! 🙂
Melissa- I'm not sure about a food chemist, but I will try just about anything. I'm with you on the blue baking dish. I'm staying just down the street from Sur La Table in Santa Monica and they might have different things on sale. I'm trying to resist the urge to go in. So far so good. LOVE being on vacation.
Diane, this looks wonderful! I love your son's idea of adding in another chili! We like a little heat as well! This is a perfect version for us! My kids always ask about mac'n' cheese, and my mom's recipe is soo rich in Dairy that I am always hesitant to even attempt it as a Dairy Free version! Will be giving this one a try for sure!
Kim- I am really enjoying that Daiya cheese. I have missed mac & cheese so this was a real treat. Next week I'll share my truffle version.
Seriously creative Diane! I must admit, that DAiya is pretty good stuff.
Alisa- I'm with you on the Daiya. I have found however that I only like a little of it on pizza, not too much. But it's fun to have "cheese" again.
Very cool recipe! I have yet to try the daiya cheeses, but this looks like a really fun way to use it 🙂 I haven't had mac and cheese in a really long time!!!
Aubree- It was so easy and baked up so well. I actually was shocked. If you're not a curry fan wait for my truffle version or just make it plain!
Wow. This looks really good. I love the variety of the additional flavors. Love the blue dishes, too. 🙂
Heather- I have started a list of different mac & cheese flavors to mix. I can't wait. I either need to pace myself, or have a big party and get everyone's opinion at once.
Sounds super tasty! I have enjoyed the Daiya cheese, but I keep limiting myself to smaller amounts to try to get used to the taste. It's pretty good, but I still remember real cheese. Hoping my memory over time will fade!
Alta- I guess it's been a few years since I've had real cheese. But my one son who still eats cheese on occasion really loves this cheese too. I can't tell the difference but there must be one.