Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pink Mac n' Jerk Cheese

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This extraordinary mac n' cheese is made from Beecher's No Woman Jamaican jerk cheese, which Pei got from Seattle. The Jamaican jerk cheese has hints of allspice and chili powder and melts extremely well, making it perfect for mac n' cheese.
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound of pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups of Beecher's No Woman Jamaican jerk cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of Ricotta cheese
  • 1 15 ounce can of stewed tomato, drained
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan Reggiano, grated
  • 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in boiling water until about 1 to 2 minutes shy of al dente. Heat milk and Bay leaf in a small saucepan until steaming, about 5 minutes. Set aside and allow Bay leaf to steep in the hot milk. Heat up butter over medium heat until the butter melts and foams. Add flour and whisk. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove Bay leaf from milk and add milk to the flour butter mixture. Pour slowly and whisk constantly to remove lumps. Add nutmeg, Jamaican jerk cheese and Ricotta cheese. Whisk to combine. Add canned tomato. Allow mixture to cook for 2 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Since jerk cheese is very salty, make sure that you taste the sauce before adding more salt.

Add cooked pasta to a baking dish. Poor cheese sauce over the top. Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Bake for 15 minutes in 400 degree oven. Broil for 2 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.

The jerk cheese complements tomato very well and adds a lot of unique flavors to an otherwise ordinary mac n' cheese recipe. The basic mac n' cheese recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Of course, my delicious dinner would not possible without Pei, who always generously shares cool and interesting food with me. Thanks, Pei!


  1. Did Tangy eat any? I've decided if Tangy takes a bite it must have been super delicious.

  2. Kitteh does have excellent taste in food.

    She didn't have any because I was guarding my dinner very closely. She did get really close and sat there with four feet together and her tail wrapped around her feet. Then she tilted her head and smacked her lips together. Loudly. She would've probably nom'd on mac n' cheese if I didn't distract her with an opportunity to go outside.

  3. kitteh says "GIMME THAT CHEESE, WOMAN!"

    You know, some Whole Foods in the Bay Area carry Beecher's cheese, but I've only ever seen their Flagship cheese. It's a white melty cheese of some sort, and it's good but it's not as good as the Jamaican Jerk. But I hear if you pester Whole Foods people enough they'll order what you want.