Recipe 54 – Lox Mac and Cheese

Every now and then, I get curious about unusual ingredients. Sure, some of this can be curiosity about fancy-pants ingredients that I can never afford, like beluga caviar and shaved truffles, but more often it’s a curiosity about pretty humble ingredients. Like… What do Vienna sausages taste like? Do they taste like hot dogs, or maybe another humble ingredient, SPAM? Bologna? How are they different from cocktail wieners? Why don’t they look like other sausages?

Every now and then I decide to satisfy my curiosity and buy one of these ingredients to check it out. I still haven’t been brave enough to try out Vienna sausages, but I did happen to see this at my local grocery store:

IMG_7474

And I decided that I must try it.

Back before my gluten-free days, I was introduced to lox on bagels, and I was surprised just how much I enjoyed it. Since this product is just smoked salmon, who’s to say it wouldn’t make a good substitute for a higher quality lox? It might not be the finest specimen, but cheese can cover a multitude of culinary sins, my friends.

Online there are a few recipes for a lox mac and cheese. I didn’t particularly like the look of any of them. So I did my best to cobble together another Weekly Mac Original!

Lox Mac and Cheese – a Weekly Mac original!

Ingredients
8 oz pasta – I used corn rigatoni, but elbows would work just as well
1 cup milk – I used skim, use what you have
8 oz cream cheese, cut into pieces (this is one package)
1 tin smoked salmon – my tin said it was 3.8 oz, so use something around that size
1/4 c breadcrumbs – mine were gluten-free, but if you can have gluten I’d encourage you to use rye or even onion bread for this, but just plain ol’ breadcrumbs will do fine too
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, pour milk into a small pot and warm to medium. Add cream cheese in pieces and heat slooooowly over a lower medium heat, stirring constantly to get rid of gloppiness. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you are fancy and making your own breadcrumbs, do that now. When pasta is finished, toss into cheese sauce. Open tin of salmon, be taken aback by the smell, and drain of any liquid (mine was packed in oil). Break apart salmon and stir into pasta mixture. Pour pasta into 8×8 dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes, cool, and serve.

Verdict: 2/5
Confucius say beware of tinned fish.

It was way too smokey for both my and my husband’s tastes. The cream cheese sauce was too bland, needing something salty. The breading really didn’t offer much. Really the whole thing was a misstep.

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