this is the twentieth installment of kitchen notes. post-it wisdom from my kitchen. a way to remind myself of the important things.
spent a couple hours after work in my office today solving mensa riddles and drinking hot cocoa and tea with my students. i added a “tea and hot cocoa” area in my office. basically just a hot water plug in thing to heat water, mugs, tea, and hot cocoa. it’s been a hit so far. should have done this a long time ago. reminder: do this in the future.
so, i’ve done these mensa riddles before, but it’s fun when you do it with different groups of people. they would give answers that seemed right and could be the answer, but the answer cards were different.
they reminded me that there’s always another option, another answer.
my psychology teacher in high school also shared “what’s your third option?” with our class. she believed that there’s never just two answers. there’s always a third option.
whenever i have to make a decision, this is the first thing that i think about.
because, magically, the third option seems to fit the best.
so, what’s your third option?
1 pound fusilli pasta*
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4-ounces thai red curry paste
5 cups milk (i used soy)
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
salt and pepper
*you can use any kind of pasta. i’ve made this with medium shells. so good. if you’re traditional, use macaroni.
melt the butter in another large pot over medium-high heat. create a roux by whisking in the flour. whisk for about a minute until it starts to turn a bit golden and smells toasty. whisk in the red curry paste and combine well. pour in the milk and bring mixture to a boil, whisk constantly. turn it down to a simmer and let it go until the mixture thickens. take it off the heat and stir in cheese until melted. add the pasta and incorporate until all pasta is evenly coated.
to make the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan. add panko and toss to coat. season with salt and pepper.
turn on broiler. if the mac and cheese is not in an oven safe pot, transfer it to an oven safe dish. top with breadcrumb topping. broil until browned, about a couple minutes. watch it closely, because it will brown fast!