Monday, July 27, 2015

How NOT to make Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

I was not going to write this post, but my darling sister says that food blogs are more interesting and useful if they chronicle failure as well as success.  So, let it be known, I was wary when I set out on the journey to make slow cooker gluten free mac and cheese.  The Mister and I have multiple store bought gluten free mac and cheeses that we like (Annie's for the box kind and Udi's for the baked kind), but it seemed so silly to be buying pre-made mac and cheese when I'm not working this summer.  And this looked so tasty:

But, let it also be known that my slow cooker and I have a shaky relationship.  I've made some tasty soups and stews, but I've also made dishes so gross (notable a spinach artichoke chicken) that I had to throw them away.  The problem with a slow cooker is that you can't taste and adjust as you go; you just have to trust.  And, when it comes to slow cookers (and many other things) if it seems to good to be true, it probably is- recipes that are too easy tend to not taste too good.

Anyway, enough about how my relationship status with my slow cooker is 'complicated' and on to my attempt to make Gluten Free on a Shoe String's yummy looking mac and cheese.

The ingredients were simple enough- it began with an egg, 3 cups of milk, a can of evaporated milk, and 2 tablespoons of rice flour.  I added sat and pepper, and dumped it in the crock pot.

Next came the pasta and cheese, and I will admit, this is where I went tragically wrong.  You see, I
like my cheddar sharp.  Cabot is my brand of choice.  But I wanted this recipe to be yellow, and I thought a mild cheddar would be more 'classic'.  So I bought the store brand.  Let me tell you, cooked for 3 hours, the store brand cheddar smells and tastes like something between glue and plastic.

The pasta was also my fault- the recipe I began from used a GF pasta made mostly of corn, but the Mister is pretty sensitive to corn, so I used our favorite rice pasta instead.  This was not a fatal error like the cheddar, BUT- I later learned that the rice pasta needed way more liquid than the other pasta does.  I added more milk after my mac and cheese had all ready 'set' and SOME parts of it were cooked well, but others were crunchy.  IF I ever attempt this again, I will add another cup of milk.

This cooked for about 2.5 hours on low, when I made my third error.  The original recipe did not call for stirring- if you ever try this- PLEASE STIR AS SOON AS YOUR CHEESE LOOKS MELTED.  Otherwise, it sets and you just have un-even cheese streaked pasta....

Now, for the positives, it 'set up' really nicely, and with enough salt and hot sauce, we both managed to eat a full serving for dinner.  It was edible; it was just sort of edible plastic..... So we ended dinner with healthy portions of chocolate ice cream to help us forget ;-).

So, lesson learned- I continue to be wary of my slow cooker and recipes that seem too easy.  I will admit that we threw away the leftovers.  I froze them at first in hopes that I would want to eat it a few days later (wishful thinking, I know), but the plastic taste was more than I could handle.  Here's to better cooking adventures next time!

1 comment:

  1. I've had some soap failures that I've blogged about over the years, also. I had a pool of green soap all over my laundry room floor after the bottom of the mold let loose right after I pouted it and went to move it to its resting spot. I was scrambling like a mad woman to get it cleaned up before nosey cats came in to investigate and before the active lye from the freshly poured soap took the top layer off the flooring. Lol