BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Bake Until Bubbly…With Leeks!

with 3 comments

Baked Penne with Pepper Jack and Leeks

Baked Penne with Pepper Jack and Leeks

I’d never made true baked macaroni and cheese before, until I dove in yesterday with this tempting “Baked Penne With Farmhouse Cheddar and Leeks” recipe from the March issue of Bon Appetit. We can’t get enough of those late winter leeks, especially when Corvallis farms like Sunbow will deliver them to your doorstep at no surcharge. But I lacked the sharp raw-milk cheddar, whole milk and hot sauce the recipe calls for. Rather than run out to the store, Dan challenged me to make the dish with ingredients we already had on hand. So we put that 2 lb. brick of Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese to good use, combined Straus Creamy Whole Milk yogurt with 1 percent milk and added some cayenne pepper to bring out the heat of the cheese. The results were surprisingly spectacular, spicy and sweet from the cooked down leeks. A dollop of Dijon mustard in the cheese custard sauce rounded out the flavors. Dan said it’s among the best mac’-and-cheese dishes he’s had. Maybe I’ll make it with Pepper Jack again. Not exactly the healthiest comfort food, though.

Speaking of baked casseroles, check out the cookbook Bake Until Bubbly, which I reviewed for The Sun here.


Written by baltimoregon

March 18, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Yummy! I think I’ll try it that way too!

    Lisa Richardson

    March 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm

  2. Pretty much any use of a 2-lb. brick of Tillamook Pepper Jack is a good one, but yours is even better than most. We oohed and aahed so much over your ingenious variation, as a matter of fact, that we made it our Post of the Day at Stop by and check it out.
    Jake Ten Pas
    Tillamook Cheese Fan Club
    P.S. Bludgeoning somebody with a 2-lb. brick of Tillamook Pepper Jack is not a good use. Just wanted to make that clear. Cheers.

  3. Cool, I really recommend using Tillamook cheese if it’s available where you live.


    March 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm

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