This was where my Hurricane Prep, Bulk Shopping, and Training Diet OCD collided.
What came out of it was a truly intriguing recipe.
First, The Hurricane Prep.
Every year we'd get food that is room temp stable. Add water, and if you are lucky, you have something edible. Ok, we're not talking the Cordon Bleu here, but stuff you can eat in a No Electricity And Power Down situation.
We have a grill, we have a burner, and they run off a Propane Bottle.
Therefore I can boil water and grill if I need to. Fried Sausage and Eggs on the Lanai served with a fine dusting of storm damage!
While our own prep got more elaborate over the years to when Irma hit and we had no electricity for two weeks, I was able to count on Electricity from the generator. At least enough electricity to power the fridge. Run it for an hour, power off for three. We tested that out a year ago.
Second, Who said you have to follow the recipe on the box?
A lot of mixes are excellent on their own. There's a specific Sourdough Bread mix that I can't find anymore that was simply perfect. Add water, knead, put in pan and bake. Krusteaz Sourdough Bread Mix.
There are others that are a bit ... lacking.
Kraft Mac and Cheese Dinner is one of them. It's also known by other names as Kraft Dinner or KD. It isn't bad, but it does taste a bit too salty and the Day Glow Orange powder that you add to the meal is kind of flavorless - other than salt.
So I improvised.
My own diet is 600 calories per meal plus 200 calories each meal for dessert. I am an active and somewhat fit man, and my weight is stable. The numbers on the box imply, if I am reading it right, that a box packaged as is is 750 Calories.
Add 100 calories for a tablespoon of butter and 30 for 2 ounces of milk, it nets to 880 as prepared.
So I took the KD, added one tablespoon of butter only. Right there, I am cutting calories off the box. They say As Prepared, the recipe is 1200 Calories.
Now add back.
I would have to have something else and split the KD in two to make it work with my "training diet".
I thought that I could increase the calories to 1200 and therefore have two meals. How to do that?
I had some small sausages and some cheese to a total of 300 calories.
Basically that did tend to grow, and I went "On the high side" when I made it last but I made it was incredible.
Third: The Port Wine Mac and Cheese.
Those wine and cheese parties are usually a red wine paired with the cheese. If you want Port or Red Wine, you need a sharp cheese.
The Sausage was deleted.
I started adding back.
The last time I made this, I made it with an ounce of Feta, another of Parmesan, and an ounce of Jarlsberg.
The Feta and Parm are sharp. The Jarlsberg is slightly sharp, and it gives back chewy texture I needed.
Then I added in an ounce of Port Wine. Specifically some 10 year old aged Tawny Port that was really quite excellent on its own.
If you are counting with me, that's 1300 calories. Yeah I slipped by 100 calories. I'll keep that in mind for later.
Remember kids: 100 Calories a Day means A Pound Heavier in a Year!
The result? Oh my that extra 50 calories per serving was worth it! The meal tasted like a less salty version of the Port Wine spread you get at a better market.
So we will do it again and it was just as good second day.
Now, Presented as a Recipe:
Ingredients at room temp to allow for proper melting in saucepan:
1 Box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner - or your favorite equivalent.
1 Tablespoon (1/2 ounce or 14g) - Unsalted Butter, room temp.
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce or 30mL) - Port Wine or other Red Wine, room temp.
2 Ounces (56mL) - Milk, room temp.
3 Ounces - Sharp Cheese, Grated or Cubed, room temp.
Your Choice of Cheeses - I used:
- 1 ounce Feta Crumbles
- 1 ounce grated fresh Parmesan
- 1 ounce Jarlsberg grated or diced finely
- Boil your noodles from the package for about 7 minutes or until tender.
- Drain noodles and return them to the saucepan.
- Add Butter and allow to begin to melt in the bottom of the pan.
- Add Cheese Powder Package and stir to mix.
- Add the three cheeses to the sauce pan and stir to mix.
- When the Cheeses and the butter have melted, add milk to the pan.
- Finally, add the Port Wine to the mix and stir until smooth.