In between creating new shows for Junkyard Cabaret, I like to get creative in the kitchen (and in the boudoir). Referring only to my culinary exploits today, I share this new recipe that's sure to hit all the right buttons for those of you who love comfort food. Umm...isn't that everyone?
What's more, this creamy, crunchy, carbolicious delight is made entirely from wholesome ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. No need for fancy store-bought vegan cheeses here. Though they can be scrumptious too, I figure if you're going to the trouble of making a big ol' fancy casserole, let's do it up from scratch. Here we go!
Magical Mac N'cheese
Yields 8 servings
Yeah, I’ve done it. I’ve concocted my own vegan version of a classic baked macaroni and cheese, and it’s magic, baby. And it’s so much easier than pulling a rabbit out of a hat or sawing somebody in half. Believe me—I've tried! Here’s the spell: Share this dish with all of your many lovers and then watch as they melt into comfort-foodie bliss.
1 (16-ounce) box macaroni noodles
3 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1/2 cup French fried onions
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Now let the witchcraft commence! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with vegetable oil. Cook and drain the noodles according to the package directions.
Prepare the cheesy sauce while the pasta is cooking. Put the nondairy milk, cashews, and mustard in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Presto change-o!
Put the cashew mixture in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Really, cashews are some kind of wickedly good sorcery to thicken up like that.
When your sauce is thick and creamy, decrease the heat to low and whisk in the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Continue to mix until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked noodles. Fold in the salsa and transfer the mixture to the baking dish. (No magic tips here. Just dump and spread.)
Smooth the top of the pasta mixture with a rubber spatula and then sprinkle evenly with French fried onions and dried parsley to make it pretty. Say “abracadabra,” or some shit like that.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving to your many lovers, and then let the real magic ensue.