Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Smoked Gouda and Chorizo Mac and Cheese

This is my riff on the mac and cheese from Modernist Cuisine at Home, and one of my first forays into what is often called molecular gastronomy.  You'll probably have to get the sodium citrate online, but using it means this is actually less work than the typical roux based version while giving a more pronounced cheese flavor.  What the sodium citrate is doing here is preventing the protein in the cheese from aggregating, so it keeps the cheese sauce from breaking into fat and clumps of protein.  It also helps emulsify the milk with the cheese.  The basic idea can be used with other flavors, just change the type of cheese and change out the chorizo for some other flavoring.

1 1/8 C skim milk
11 g sodium citrate

1/4 lb smoked gouda, grated
1/4 lb white cheddar
1 inch piece of Spanish chorizo, in 1/8" cube, or crisped bacon
2 C (1/2 lb) dried pasta

Over medium low heat cook the chorizo to render the fat and crisp it up, remove from heat.
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, drain and reserve.
Combine the milk with the sodium citrate and bring to a bare simmer.  Add the smoked gouda a handful at a time and whisk in or use an immersion blender.  Add in the reserved chorizo and the rendered fat, whisk to combine then adjust seasoning; you may also want to whisk in a little water if the cheese sauce is too thick.
Combine the cheese sauce and the pasta and serve.