Just because you’re dealing with leftovers doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect vehicle for nearly all leftovers. Several nights ago we ate a spicy southwest mac & cheese made using crumbled leftover meatloaf, sauteed onions, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cheddar. The dish was seasoned with spicy chipotle puree, smokey cumin, and fresh cilantro, then topped with a mixture of panko and parmesan. Freshly sliced avocado served as a delightful garnish.
T: Today will go down in history as the day of no flies flying. In our apartment.
A: you should be ashamed of yourself, Tyler! killing all those innocent flies! what did the flies ever do to you?!?
T: they were born of satan, that’s what.
A: cool… that’s a good enough excuse for me… die, satan flies, die!
T: there’s one left. and he must die. come to me..
A: uh, dude… the fly can’t read…
T: ahh, but he came, didn’t he? And then he left, the bastard
A: yup… you know, killing flies isn’t the only thing we should be ashamed of. It been a week since we’ve last shared all the goodies we’ve been eating.
T: That is a shame. It’s getting to be almost impossible to get daylight shots. Time to figure out some good indoor lighting.
A: we used the homemade light box for this shot, and it didn’t come out too bad, huh?
T: just not the glorious sunlight we’re used to.
A: true dat… uh, T? you still seem a bit distracted by the fly in the room
T continues to chase the fly and ignore the food blog
T: would you rather have that now-dead fly still buzzing??
A: perhaps! we’re here to focus on the food, hommes. not the flies… although if we ate the nearly 40 flies you’ve killed tonight we could have had quite the serving of protien.
T: yikes. Ok now that’s just gross. Yuck. I wouldn’t even think of… ew you’re just nasty.
A: there are people all over the world who would kill for that mass of flies. just because we silly americans don’t eat them, doesn’t mean they’re not good eats for someone else!
T: ummm… right. Yeah. My feeling on eating the flies hasn’t changed.
A: well how about your feelings on the usage of leftover meatloaf in the spicy southwest mac & cheese?
T: killer. It was super-tasty. I especially liked the cheesy top layer. It was more than just a cheesy top-layer, though. what was going on there?
A: the topping for this is super simple: just panko and parmesan. that’s it.
T: I’ve never heard of panko. Sounds like a video game for the atari. What is it?
A: was atari japanese? because panko is japanese breadcrumbs. they are light and airy and crispy and delightful.
T: they worked as a cheesy-top-layer extender. I liked em.
A: me too. mac and cheese doesn’t always have the most exciting textural aspects but adding the panko top-layer gives it a nice crispy crunchity goodness.
T: fortunately not too crunchity. A nice crisp, without being too crunchy aka crunchity.
A: fo sho… mac and cheese is one of those things that i always have the ingredients for, and it’s a dish that always welcomes leftover ingredients readily. you can pretty much take any leftovers and put them in some fresh mac and cheese and have a glorious meal.
T: I never thought of it, but that’s so true. This was quite a fiesty macaroni and cheese too. Very spicy. An excellent level of spice.
A: nice and smokey too. both the chipotles and the cumin added to the wonderful spicy smokiness.
T: mmm indeed. I love cumin. And chipotles. I give it a 4.4/5.
A: i also really liked this dish, even if it was a leftovers meal. I give it a 4.334/5. i would make it again even if i didn’t have leftover meatloaf to use up.
T: would you make meatloaf and then put that in? Or would you use something else?
A: i definately wouldn’t make a whole meatloaf just for this meal. i think you could easily substitute the leftover meatloaf with browned fresh chorizo, or seasoned ground turkey or beef, or even cooked chicken pieces. really, any meat would do.
T: Chorizo sounds nice.
A: agreed… hmmm… nice…juicy…spicy…sausages.
T: Mmm… hey mandy, you know what I just realized?
A: that you’re gonna get your butt kicked if you call me mandy again?
T: I’ve called you mandy many times. You’ve often threatened a butt-kicking. I’ve never received a butt-kicking. I’m no longer afraid.
A: hmm… perhaps i need to make a serious threat to get my point across… Call me Mandy again and i won’t cook for you anymore.
T: well now Ma… Amandy, that’s not nice!
A: neither is calling me Mandy, tylah…
T: I am not “Tylah.” I am Tyler, maker of tiles.
A: oh sure, you are sweetie… you make lots of tiles…
T: I make so many tiles you don’t even know. That’s what I do, I make m-F’n tiles.
A: where do you put these tiles? are they cyber-tiles?
T: they’re any kinda tile i want em to be.
A: well then! didn’t you have something you just realized that you wanted to tell me?
T: oh yeah. We haven’t blogged about dessert in a very long time.
A: that is a very grave truth! it definately deserves a straight face. i’m working on that! the next post we make will be a dessert post.
T: is that a … promise?
A: you betcha!