The food truck revolution remains big in so many cities. I’m amazed at all the innovative creations coming out of these little kitchens and am continually inspired by their innovative dishes .
About a month ago I visited a food truck and on the menu was their house Mac n’ Cheese with a “special sauce”. Of course I had to get it. After taking a few bites I was in love and the sauce kicked up the cheesy goodness a few million notches. I went back to ask what made this drizzled sauce so incredible and was told it was kimchi.
Having worked with this fermented food for the past few months, I was not surprised. It carries so much flavor into dishes and it worked perfectly in their sauce. I am continuing to see Asian influences like these make their way into American comfort food and it’s a trend I love.
I decided to put together my own decadent mac n’ cheese but added the kimchi to the roux itself. I knew it would carry this incredible savory flavor. And it did. It is such a complex taste, one your brain will try to recognize, but just can’t place it. The kimchi adds a background note you really don’t have a reference for…it is incredible.
This is now my go to mac n’ cheese. I have made it three more times because my craving for it is so strong. For those of you still on the fence with kimchi, I hope I am getting you closer to hopping on the fermented food band wagon and give it a try.
I didn’t make a special sauce as the food truck had, but I did drizzle my bowl of mac n’ cheese with my favorite hot sauce. There are no words.
This is one delicious dish!
Food Truck Mac n' Kim-Cheese
- 1 pound dry elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup kimchi
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups Sargento® Traditional Cut Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook and drain macaroni to almost al dente.
- In a blender, puree kimchi and fish sauce. In a large saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter and add kimchi puree. Cook over medium heat for one minute. Add flour, whisking to incorporate and cooking for one minute more. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to break up any lumps. Add cream and continue to whisk. Bring to boiling point and boil for 2 minutes (keep whisking). Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add shredded cheese and continue to simmer until all cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
- In a small bowl combine Panko and melted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Three Years Ago: Beer-Battered Green Beans with Tarragon Aioli