Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gluten-Free Breaded Mack and Cheese

Crusted mack and cheese

In the back of my head there's an unofficial and likely corrupt list of things I haven't had since being diagnosed with celiac. On that list is breaded macaroni and cheese. Actually, the list entry just says "breaded."

Quincy had the idea of saving the butts and stale slices of her homemade gluten-free breads in the freezer. On Saturday night we broke them out to indulge our cheese needs.

Here's the basic recipe, since neither of us really keep track.

16 oz (2 boxes) of Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta (elbows)
8-12 oz of freshly grated Tillamook medium sharp cheddar
8-12 oz of grated mozzarella
4 oz of freshly grated Parmesan
2 medium vegetarian-fed, hormone-free eggs (I can't wait until I have my own hens.)
1 large head of chopped broccoli (makes the dish look like it might be healthy. It's not.)
1 large red onion, copped
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs
2 tbs Smart Balance buttery spread
Salt and Pepper to taste

We boiled the pasta for about 5 minutes, half the time recommended on the box. While that's going, we put a little corn oil in a big, deep pan and cook the red onions until transparent and yummy looking. We remove the pan from heat and drop the drained pasta in and add the chopped broccoli as well. I moved a big glass baking pan over the burner that warmed the past and dropped in the butter.

In the mean time, we've combined the mozzarella and cheddar with two beaten eggs to form a gooey mess. We added a little Parmesan at this point, but only a little.

We use a silicon basting brush to spread the melty butter in the class baking pan. We spooned about half the pasta-veggie mix into the pan. Then, over top of that we carefully dolloped and spread about 2/3 of the cheese-egg mix. We added a thin layer of bread crumbs (the smallest ones, almost dust). Then, the rest of the pasta and the rest of the cheese goo. On top we sprinkled the Parmesan and the bulk of the bread crumbs.

We baked it uncovered for about 40 minutes in a well-preheated 375 degree oven. Some parts were crunchy, that's how we roll.

This dish would cost a small fortune if it weren't for the frozen leftover bread. To turn the hard butts into crumbs, Quincy used our cheap food processor. She microwaved a small bowl of ends and chopped. Repeat until done. Brilliant! This would have taken forever any other way. And we were left with a bag of bread crumbs for our next breading project. mmm.... maybe shrimp?

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