A few weeks ago my roommate had a brilliant idea: adding a Thai curry twist to the classic comfort food, mac 'n cheese. The idea hadn't yet progressed into a full-blown recipe and my mind was already blown. We quickly figured out what kind of curry we'd use and how we'd infuse it into the dish. We decided on using a red curry paste, which is made of large red chili peppers and generally packs less heat than green curry, which uses young green chili peppers. The resulting taste offers a delicate curry flavor with a spicy-but-not-too-spicy finish.
Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: about 45 minutes
Ingredients: 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 2 cups milk 1 cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons red curry paste 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes. Arrange in an even layer in a 1-quart casserole dish. Set aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth and light golden brown. Make sure it's free of lumps. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream and curry paste. Add the onion. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the macaroni. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.