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Old 03-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
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Green mac n cheese for St. Patty's help

I make a great mac but mine is more a traditional baked casserole type. That is not what I am looking for. I want a very gooey mac with american cheese that I can swirl some basil pesto into and still keep it green and gold. We are going to a party with alot of kids and the traditional meal isn't always the biggest hit with them.

Anybody make a gooey no bake mac and want to share?

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Old 03-13-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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My mac 'n cheese is usually baked, but I don't see why you couldn't use the same method for your St. Patrick's Day idea. Make the recipe in a large saucepan, then pour it into a 9x13 baking dish. Swirl the pesto in and you should be good to go. If it needs reheating, I don't think that would affect the appearance. If you really think it needs more creaminess, add some cream cheese. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:32 PM   #3
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I agree. Green food coloring would work to sub for the pesto too. Just use your same mac and cheese recipe on the stovetop. Velveeta would also add the right degree of goopiness.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:38 AM   #4
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I think pesto has a few problems. It doesn't stay bright green when it gets warm so it'll probably turn brown before too long in the mac I'd think. The other thought is that the pesto would separate with heat and make the macaroni and cheese oily, and a green oily ring could make its way around the edge of everyone's macaroni on the plate. If it were me and I wanted the pesto flavor I'd make it myself, nix the oil, use a little water and bring it together with gum and a touch of lemon juice. I also think spinach pesto would taste better than basil with yellow cheeses. Just some thoughts.

Or am I misinterpreting the question and you live in Washington or Colorado???
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:42 AM   #5
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Dry spinach pasta might be a good choice for this.

I would also try boiling the macaroni in water colored with green food coloring. If you don't want to use food coloring then I would try whizzing a package of frozen spinach in the blender and adding that to the macaroni cooking water.

I would try a small test batch before the big event to see if the color is even.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:49 AM   #6
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^^^^ I was going to offer the exact same suggestions but then I thought the green pasta may look odd in a sea of white-yellow cheese sauce. Probably less green looking by then. You'd have to use a LOT of food coloring to get the pasta green enough I'd think. Also never seen any spinach pastas that would work for mac and cheese that I can remember. Most extruded pastas I've seen are regular old semolina but to be honest I never look at them that closely so it may be possible OP can find dried spinach extruded pasta that will do well with macaroni and cheese.
But I also think successful macaroni and cheese has a cheese sauce that clings to and flows into the pasta shape so if the OP made a good mac and cheese then theoretically the green pasta would be barely noticeable with cheese sauce all over it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:05 AM   #7
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I agree with your premise to serve mac and cheese. Kids and adults should both like this. I have to agree w/ Aunt Bea and No Mayo using spinach pasta and a spinach pesto. We served traditional pesto as a spread. Kids did not like it. It depends on your audience. While these were young to older teenagers, they had not had this before. Had to give them credit for at least tasting it. A spinach pesto is more mild and kids may like it better.

I am trying to figure how to make "Leprechaun Legs" for St Patrick's day.
A local pub regularly has these on their Appies menu. Tempura battered deep fried green beans. I can't hold the beans til serving and expect them to be crisp. I;m thinking switching recipes to twice cooked Szechuan flavor and borrowing the name.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #8
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Maybe tint the cheese green instead of the pasta.

I agree about the pesto, kids might not like it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:41 AM   #9
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I would forget about adding pesto or spinach. Unless you know for sure that the recipe you'll be using for kids includes pesto or spinach and they love it I would go some other route. If you usually use yellow cheese, use white and color it green. Add green food color to the water and make the pasta green. Sounds like a fun project. A couple test runs might be fun too.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:56 AM   #10
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I'm wondering how much food coloring you would need to get the cheese to turn green enough to be noticeable. With all the talk about dye sensitivities these days, I try to stay away from things with dye in them, at least in large quantities. I am more in favor or using something natural, like someone suggested whipping a green vegetable in the blender and adding that to the cheese sauce. In that case it would have to be a vegetable that didn't have a strong flavor that would turn people off. Or you could cook the vegetables to the point that all the "flavor" is cooked out. Then they would definately be mushy enough to blend into the cheese.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:08 PM   #11
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Gooey Cheese Sauce:
1 cup sharp, white cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Gouda cheese, grated
1/4 log Velveeta original flavor.cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup steamed broccoli, blended until smooth (for that mild green that your looking for.
3 cups tri-color sprial pasta, cooked to AL-dente, and drained

Heat the milk until it looks ready to start boiling. Remove from heat. Add the cheddar and stir until smooth. Add the Gouda and stir until smooth. Add the Velveeta and stir until smooth.

Pour the pasta into a buttered casserole dish. Stir in the cheese sauce. Pour in the broccoli slurry and drag a tsp. through it to make swirls in the pasta/cheese mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat to 145' F. to serve.

For the green eggs, simply cook spinach in water and drain the liquid into a sauce pan. Gently crack the egg shells in several places, and put the eggs into the water. Bring the water just to a boil, turn the heat down, and let the eggs cook for ten minutes. If you add a little vinegar to the water, it will help the color penetrate the shells. At the least, you will get spider-vein green on the egg white.

A better way, and I just thought of this, hard boil the eggs in the same manner as above, but without cracking the shells. After cooking for ten minutes, pour off the hot water and crack all of the eggs. Run cold water into the pan until the pan and eggs are cool. Remove the eggs and carefully peel them. Now, use some egg-coloring dye, water, and a pan large enough to hold the eggs and colored water. Use just enough vinegar to dissolve the dye. Let the eggs sit in the colored water for 30 minutes. Remove and drain.

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Old 03-15-2014, 05:26 PM   #12
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Dry spinach pasta might be a good choice for this.

I would also try boiling the macaroni in water colored with green food coloring. If you don't want to use food coloring then I would try whizzing a package of frozen spinach in the blender and adding that to the macaroni cooking water.

I would try a small test batch before the big event to see if the color is even.
I think I'd be inclined to whizz the frozen spinach into the sauce to make that green.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
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I would try to find appropriate spinach pasta. Kids might not like spinach, but you can't taste the spinach in spinach pasta.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:05 AM   #14
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I would try to find appropriate spinach pasta. Kids might not like spinach, but you can't taste the spinach in spinach pasta.

If you overcook the spinach it would lose some of it's strong flavor and it would make it mushy enough to blend into the sauce. Or broccoli as Chief suggested. DH likes mac and cheese for lunch. I think I might try this on a small scale for St Patty's Day. Knowing him, though, he won't eat it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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I would try to find appropriate spinach pasta. Kids might not like spinach, but you can't taste the spinach in spinach pasta.
I suppose that "Popeye" cartoons are considered inappropriate for children's television these days.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #16
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I don't think they would really taste the spinach. Actually, kids will eat just about everything if its covered in cheese!
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