Curried Mac & Cheese – 2016 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®

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fullMADMACS2016Just 3 days to the Oscars® ! Let’s talk about the next dish for our 2016 Red Carpet Menu for Oscar®!

This second side dish is based on the movie, “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD… it’s “MAD MACS: CURRY ROAD! Curried Macaroni & Cheese Casserole. Thanks to Joe Becwar for calling within an hour of the nominations announcement with the genius suggestion of cheese and macs for Max! It cracked me UP!

I have served this to people who don’t like curry and they love it. There just enough to give the flavor depth but isn’t overbearing. It’s a delicate addition to the cheesy classic.

Here’s how to create it:

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 pound cavatappi macaroni
• 8 tbsp butter
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 quart milk
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg
• 2 tsp curry powder
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 cup romano cheese, grated
• 4 cups white cheddar cheese, grated
• 2-1/2 cups gruyere cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:
1) Boil a large pot of water. Add salt, then the pasta. Cook until slightly underdone. Drain well, put back in the pot, and set aside.
2) Grease your casserole dish with about 1 tbsp butter. Set aside.
3) Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. As it starts to bubble, add the flour. Whisk briskly. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly until it thickens.
4) Turn off the heat and stir in nutmeg, 1 tsp. curry, 1-1/2 tbsp parsley, black pepper, romano cheese, cheddar cheese, and gruyere cheese – hold back a handful of each cheese for the topping.
5) Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix well.
6) Fill your casserole dish with the cheese and macaroni, leaving about 1/2 inch from the top. Sprinkle the reserved cheese, remaining curry powder, and parsley evenly over the top.
7) Bake at 375° for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

I chose cavatappi pasta to underscore the feeling of this movie. Cavatappi means “corkscrew” and there are a lot of screwy characters and situations in this film! I knew this was the perfect choice of dish when I discovered that one of the earliest recorded recipes for mac and cheese was in a famous medieval English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, which was written in the 14th century! Cury means “cook” in French – Fury Road… Curry Road… Cury Road… Ha! I love that! 

The creamy blend of these cheeses, the touch of curry, and the bright addition of fresh parsley bring you a casserole dish worth making a “mad” dash across a desert to reach!

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