Recipe 57: Mushroom Taco Mac

It felt like a while since we’d had a good mushroom recipe on here, and I’m not sure we’ve ever done a truly tex-mex flavored dish.  So why not combine the two?

Mushroom Taco Mac (from The Mushroom  Council)

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried whole grain elbow pasta, enriched (substitute penne or other types of pasta if preferred) (we used small corn shells)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix, low sodium (if available) (We used a homemade mix)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa (ours was mild because I’m a wuss, but use what you like)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (ours was full-fat, because that’s how we roll at the Casa de Mac)

Directions

Add water to pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta, cook uncovered for 10-13 minutes, or until pasta has reached desired firmness.

While pasta is cooking, heat a sauté pan on medium, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of pan. Add mushrooms and 2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix, sauté 5 minutes.

When pasta is done, drain water and return to pot. Heat on low while stirring in salsa, mushrooms and remaining 2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix for 2 minutes or less.

Divide into four portions, top each with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  We just mushed the cheese in here, then divided things up.

Verdict: 4.5/5

Very filling without feeling too heavy.  Felt almost more like a casserole that just happened to have cheese and noodles rather than a mac itself.  Flavors blended well.  Not too spicy.  A solid choice overall.

Loverman and I served this to two guests, both of whom like Tex Mex and one of whom is a vegetarian.  I was received well by both our guests.  I think I’ll had a Tex-Mex tag in addition to faux-ethnic.

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Recipe 56: Cheese Kreplach Mac

Every so often I come across a recipe that makes me think “this needs to go on Weekly Mac, but I’m not sure if it counts as a mac.”  The original recipe I came across was for kreplach, which is sort of a Jewish ravioli, for lack of a better term, but was easily transformed into a mac.
Cheese Kreplach Mac (inspired by this recipe from My Jewish Learning)
Ingredients
  • 8oz elbow macaroni (I used corn)
  • 8oz plain goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons za’atar seasoning
Directions
Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot.  Mix in goat cheese and seasoning and serve.
Not much to look at.

Not much to look at.

Verdict: 2.5/5
I think the amount of seasoning I used dried out the taste too much.  Maybe stick with one teaspoon, or maybe even a little less.  Start with half a teaspoon and add from there: a little goes a long way.