If this post were audio, I would groan with pleasure. As a 3rd generation American Pole, I love both the fatty, carby, bland food and pickled things. It’s in my genes (and let’s be honest, my jeans)! I rarely give in to the temptation of eating mac and cheese, but sometimes, it’s worth it!
Here’s my recipe, and yes, you basically make a mac and cheese and then mix some kimchi in before you eat it. It’s all those Polish things I love, plus, the tang of a delicious ferment! Oh, wait, ferments are Polish, too. Guess I’m my father’s daughter through and through.
This recipe is easiest and less mess in a French oven that can go right from your stovetop into your oven. If you don’t have one, just start in a large saucepan and transfer to a large, greased casserole after mixing in cheese and pasta.
MAC AND KIMCHEESE
Serves 8-10 as entree.
4-6 onions, caramelized
16 oz brown rice (or regular) pasta, cooked 5 minutes and immediately drained
5 cups milk
4 T cornstarch
1 T prepared, whole-grain mustard
1 t ground mustard seeds (optional)
2 t salt
ground pepper to taste
4 T butter
16 oz. of shredded cheese, divided (your preferred! We like to change it up, but cheddar and gruyere always make a great combo)
1/2 cup seasoned, homemade breadcrumbs
Jar of homemade kimchi
Preheat oven to 375°. Pour milk into your 5 quart or larger French oven. Thoroughly stir in cornstarch, mustards and salt and pepper. Once combined, add butter, stirring constantly until butter is melted and the mixture has come to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 of cheese. Keep stirring until it’s melted. Stir in your partially pre-cooked pasta and caramelized onions. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with bread crumbs. Stick it under the broiler for 5 minutes to get it good and crispy brown.
You can serve it fresh from the oven, but I think it’s tasty after it has had a few minutes to sit. It’s even good then next day. For serving, just put the jar of kimchi next to the bubbly vat of cheesy love, and let your guests top it off to taste!