It’s hot in SoCal. Nearly 100 this weekend where I live and over 100 in many locations north of me. This is my least favorite time of the year. August to November can be brutal during “warm” years while traditionally August and September are the hottest months of the year in “normal” years.
Since going gluten-free in July, there are a variety of foods that I normally frequently eat that I haven’t been touching. Pasta. Pizza. Burgers. Cakes. Cookies. Brownies. Etc. You get the picture. You would think I would be really skinny by now cutting out all of those glorious comfort foods, but I’m not. That’s the fun part of having an autoimmune disorder.
A few years ago I tried gluten-free pasta out of curiosity. I remember thinking that it seemed pretty much like normal pasta. Until the next day. I tried to reheat the pasta and the noodles kind of fell apart. Boo! Of course this was years ago and gluten-free foods have evolved since then.
Sis said that one of her friends stopped eating gluten as part of some diet that she went on recently. Her friend recommended trying chickpea noodles. Costco allegedly sells them but I didn’t find them the last time I was at Costco. I did find some at Vons the other day for the bargain price of $3.50 for 8 ounces of pasta.
Here’s where I’m gonna bitch for a sec. Gluten free food is ridiculously expensive, in my opinion, for no freaking reason other than the manufacturer gets to make record profits. For many people eating gluten-free isn’t a fad. It’s a matter of health. For some (those with Celiac disease) it means life or death. Here are some examples. Gluten-free English muffins are about $6 or $7. A gluten-free frozen pizza is 10 or more dollars. End bitch.
At any rate, for my Labor Day barbecue I wanted some gluten-free Mac and cheese to go with my ribs.
I wanted a super simple recipe to follow because when it’s super hot I’m super lazy. I couldn’t bring myself to make a roux or a béchamel sauce. A recipe I found at Leite’s Culinaria fit the bill using only gluten-free noodles, cheese and pasta water.
Only when I started making the recipe, I got grossed out by the pasta water. The color and smell were intolerable and definitely not anything I could use as an ingredient in my dish. Luckily I had a carton of heavy cream in the fridge which I figured would make a fine substitute for the liquid in the recipe. Turns out, I was right. Using heavy cream made for the smoothest, creamiest stovetop Mac and cheese.
- 8 oz gluten-free noodles, your favorite short or medium shape
- 4 oz freshly grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 oz freshly grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- 8 oz heavy cream (whipping cream or half and half would likely work as well here)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a large pot of water over high heat. Add salt to the water. When the water comes to a boil, pour in the pasta and stir continuously for 1 minute. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it’s al dente. Start checking it for doneness a few minutes before the package says it’s done.
- Drain pasta and return pot to the stove. Lower heat to medium-low or low. Add grated cheese and stir a bit. Add heavy cream. Stir until creamy and hot. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Serve immediately.