Internet, you have failed me. Searches for “melted cheese head”, “melting Packer cheesehead”, or “melting morons wearing foam food for a hat” came up with bupkus. I refuse to believe that no one has ever melted a cheesehead.
Let’s take a step back here.
Am I really talking about melting a Packer cheese head? After five losses in a row, am I really that confident? Am I predicting a win over the Packers? Does this mean I am hopeful the Steelers can turn their season around and finish above .500? Do I believe they can finish 9-7? Yes, I am and yes, I do.
I mean, it cannot get worse. [Cue Bill Cosby’s early 60’s “Worse” routine, a recording of one of his blue-ish shows at the time.]
This week’s Friday Football Foodie was inspired by my friend Amanda, who made her version of the mac & cheese bites for the annual girls movie night sleepover last weekend. (I ate half of her batch of mac & cheese bites while watching an especially tense scene in TROOP BEVERLY HILLS.) The dish makes for a solid FFF choice because you can add whatever you want to your mac and cheese to make it heartier and it makes approximately 48 two-bite pieces, which is good when feeding a crowd.
You will need…
1/2 pound elbow macaroni, al dente
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4-1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2-1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt
6-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 small can of green chilies, drained
1 small jar of pimentos, drained
2-3 oz prosciutto, chopped
2-3 oz finely chopped onion
Over medium heat, melt your butter and wisk in your flour. Keep stirring like you would when making a a roux to toast the flour. Once it has thickened, add the sage and wisk until the oil from the leaves has been released and is bubbly.
Still whisking, add in your milk and slowly bring to a boil. Once your milk has stared to boil, add the cheddar and American cheese. Whisk, whisk, whisk, until melted. DO NOT turn up the heat to make the process go faster.
Once the cheese is completely melted, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yoke, scallions and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you need to reheat it some, that us fine. Just do it over gentle, low heat.
Did you remember to cook your pasta? If not, go ahead throw it into salted boiling water until al dente and drain. (About five minutes.)
Fold the elbow noodles into your melted cheese. If you have time, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If not, reduce baking time in the oven.
Preheat oven to 425º and move your cooking rack to the top 1/3 slot.
Brush mini muffin trays with butter, and lightly coat with grated Parm. Fill each cup with mac and cheese mix (pack down firmly) and dust the top with more grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about ten minutes (until the cheese is bubbly) and then let cool for five minutes in the tins so the mac & cheese can firm up. Remove with spoon and serve.
No cocktail this week. You really shouldn’t drink when you’re this depressed Steeler fans.
Adapted from Food & Wine.