Pimiento Mac and Cheese

Cover Recipe- Bon Appetit, Pimiento Mac and Cheese: March 2011

Cover Recipe- Bon Appetit, Pimiento Mac and Cheese: March 2011

When it comes to mac and cheese, you’re either a blue box person or you’re not.  And, well, I am not.  I grew up on the homemade stuff and once you spend your entire childhood eating a cheese sauce that is made from actual melted cheese and not some kind of strangely fluorescent powder, you just can’t ever go back.

You can understand, then, why I took it as a personal challenge to sway my boyfriend’s blue box-loving heart when he informed me (on Valentine’s Day, mind you) that he preferred the “just add hot water” version to mine. For. Shame.

It was then and there that I vowed to leave no mac and cheese recipe unturned until I found the one that would change his mind.  Recently, I was going through my old cooking magazines when I rediscovered the March 2011 issue of Bon Appetit, with a Pimiento Mac and Cheese on it’s cover that they claimed was “hands down the tastiest version [they’ve] ever made”. My heart immediately started racing as I thought, “Could this really be the one?” Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

covers1

 

Print Print Recipe

Pimiento Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 45 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, halved, divided
1/2 cup panko
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup drained mild Peppadew peppers in brine, 1 tablespoon brine reserved
1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
8 ounces medium shell pasta or gemelli

Directions:

1. Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 1 1/2 garlic cloves to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toast the panko in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool until lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into the crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
3. Transfer the bell pepper to a food processor. Add the Peppadews and 1 tablespoon brine, 2 tablespoons butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove. Add the cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Blend until sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter a 8-cup baking dish. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until tender but still al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Stir the sauce and mozzarella into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper and pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the panko/parmesan topping.
5. Bake the pasta until the topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips:

*Peppadew peppers can usually be found in jars or in the deli section at some supermarkets, at specialty food stores, and from peppadew.com.
*Look for panko at supermarkets and at Asian markets.
*I use ancho chili powder in place of the ground chiles, but I think you could use any chili powder that you have on hand.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/6th pan
Calories per serving: 519.7
Fat per serving: 29.6g
Saturated Fat per serving: 16.8
Sugar per serving: 1.5g
Sodium per serving: 639.5mg
Fiber per serving: 2.6g
Protein per serving: 26.1g
Cholesterol per serving: 87.8mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 34.7g

The results:

I’m not sure I’ve convinced my boyfriend to never eat instant mac and cheese again but we both really did love this dish and he even went as far as to say it was one of the best things I’ve ever made, which is pretty high praise. It was very cheesy but somehow didn’t seem very heavy, possibly because the spicy sweet flavor of the pimiento cut some of that richness. That being said, while it was very good and hit all those comfort food notes, I’m not sure that this is exactly what I’d want if I was really craving a classic mac and cheese. The pimiento added great flavor, but it strayed a bit too far out-of-the-box to replace the version that I grew up with.  If you’re looking for a new and a little bit “out there” take on a classic dish, however, this would be a great one to try.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Definitely yes! Mac and cheese is always an attention grabber and this version lives up to expectations and does a terrific job of turning comfort food into something a little more unique.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.


Warning: Use of undefined constant rand - assumed 'rand' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /var/www/clients/client0/web83/web/wp-content/themes/culinarycovers/single.php on line 72

12 Responses to “Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 2, 2013 @ 5:05 am

    I am a subscriber as well and when I saw those pancakes I was SO EXCITED to try them…til I read the recipe and b/c I don’t have to be GF, I took a pass b/c it seemed like a lot of trouble and possibly pan-stickage, as can happen with rice flours, etc. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. 2

    sara — May 2, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    These are really pretty, and glad to see your recommendation of how to make them less fragile! They look really yummy…I am also a huge buckwheat and cornmeal fan…they both make great pancakes and so cool to see them combined into one recipe!

  3. 3

    Lindsey Johnson // Cafe Johnsonia — May 2, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    I made these again this morning for breakfast and tweaked them a bit more! I ended up using the following for the dry ingredients:

    3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
    2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/3 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buckwheat flour
    1/4 cup tapioca starch
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

    They turned out even better than the other times. Hooray for multigrain pancakes! I’ve missed them. :)

  4. 4

    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — May 3, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    So glad you made these! I’ve been intrigued ever since I received that copy of BA. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the trouble with the flours (since I’m not GF and don’t have brown rice flour on hand). BUT they sounded like they would taste great. Love your recommendations.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about Blackberry Farm, so it was neat seeing them highlighted on the cover.

  5. 5

    Haley Williams — May 3, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Blackberry Farm also sells their gluten free pancake mix, so that might be an easier way to get the flours and mix of ingredients!

  6. 6

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 4, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    I’m actually excited about the variation that you posted in the comments! My mom is Gluten-Free, and I know she misses good pancakes. I’ll have to try your version for her!

  7. 7

    Joanne — May 9, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    It seems like Bon Appetit should hire you for gluten-free recipe testing! I can’t wait to try your take on them.

  8. 8

    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons — May 19, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    Wow, you had such a beautiful photo for Cook The Cover! I also really loved the flavor of these pancakes. I didn’t have much trouble with them sticking to my nonstick griddle. However, I only had 3/4 of the gluten-free flours, and I don’t eat GF, so I substituted AP flour for the oat flour. Maybe that helped with the not sticking part?

    http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/2013/05/whole-grain-pancakes-with-pineapple.html

  9. 9

    marla — August 19, 2013 @ 5:45 am

    These look great to me …. even with a bit of stick!

  10. 10

    Susan Frost — August 19, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    I love these pancakes. I have made them twice now and have not had trouble with them sticking or crumbling at all. Not sure what the difference is but the as-is recipe worked great for me. They are awesome and in fact, I’ve just gotten a couple out of the freezer to heat for breakfast with some fresh blueberry sauce! Can’t wait!

  11. 11

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

    The recipe converted pretty well to no-egg/no-dairy (I’m cooking for multiple allergies). I used soy milk + 2 T vinegar and chia seed egg, and added a teaspoon of psyllium instead of the xanthan gum.
    Gotta say–this is a pretty robust recipe to put up with all these modifications!

  12. 12

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Also, re: sticking: These seemed to need a bit cooler pan than wheat pancakes. My stuck badly at first but held together when I turned the heat lower.

Leave a Comment