Arguably America’s most favorite comfort food, macaroni and cheese can be found anywhere in the US from menus in diners to boxes in supermarkets. I’ve had mac and cheese from the boxes a couple times as a kid growing up, but I never really got too into because I wasn’t too big of a fan of the taste of manufactured cheese. Fast forward many years later, I saw a post on my Facebook news feed for miso mac and cheese and decided to give it a try despite being skeptical with the addition of miso. I found that making mac and cheese myself from scratch was a much different experience than the instant ones I’ve tried. The miso paste adds a sharp rich flavor to the dish that actually complements the rich flavor of cheese and brings a new twist on the dish. The only thing to keep in mind is that since miso has a strong flavor, you don’t want to add too much or it will overpower the cheese and it will taste pretty salty. That’s from experience.
Looking at how to make mac and cheese online, I found the two most popular ways to cook it are by stove top and by baking. Both methods are really similar in the way the dish is prepared except for a couple of steps. I wanted to give both a try so I decided to do baking first and you’ll see that I took a picture of the ingredients to include breadcrumbs because of this. The results of a baked mac and cheese will give you a more solid clumps of cheese to the macaroni with a golden breadcrumb surface. Making the stove top version, the results were a more of a thick sauce coating the macaroni. While both were good, I found myself liking the stove top version more because things weren’t so packed together.
- 4 oz dried macaroni
- 1 1/2 tbs butter
- 1 1/2 tbs flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tbs miso paste
- 1/8 cup salt
- 1/8 cup pepper
- 1 slice white cheese
- 1 sheet nori
- Cut out face of Pooh using a stencil on the nori and white cheese. Use aluminum foil to make a guide in outline of Pooh's face and place on plate.
- Boil macaroni in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Heat milk and set aside. Heat butter in a pot until it melts. Add flour and whisk to break clumps for about a minute. Whisk in warm milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat. Add in cheese, salt, pepper, and miso paste and mix. Add in cooked pasta and stir until evenly coated.
- Pour mixture into aluminum guide and spread evenly. Add the nori and cheese facial features.
- Heat 1 oz tomato sauce to serve along the miso mac and cheese (optional)
The design for this dish is based on the Tsum Tsum version of Winnie the Pooh. Most people know Winnie the Pooh for his simple minded nature and his love for honey only rivaled by his best friend, Christopher Robin. My view on Pooh is based on the friendship. Pooh is Christopher Robin’s stuffed animal that he shares many experiences with, but unlike Pooh, Christopher Robin ages and eventually won’t have time to play with Pooh anymore. It’s a tale of the fleeting experiences you make with friends and hits home for me after leaving many of my friends in college.