Recipe 72: Creamy Corn Mac and Cheese

Happy New Year, Weekly Mackers! May 2017 bring all sorts of new recipes to this blog.

 

Creamy Corn Mac and Cheese (from The Kitchn)

Serves 6
10 ounces medium-sized dry pasta shells (mine were corn)
2 tablespoons butter (mine was salted)
2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen kernels that had been thawed)
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used Half-N-Half, but I’d recommend using heavy cream as the recipe says)
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves, divided (I just tore mine roughly; I’d recommend mincing it)
1/2 cup freshly crumbled feta cheese (preferably French or Bulgarian), divided (mine was whatever they had at the grocery store, probably Greek style)
Red pepper flakes (I used two heavy pinches; use more or less as you see fit)
Salt

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat (mine was not that heavily salted; you should make it taste like seawater). Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta; set aside.

(This step you should do right when the pasta is almost done cooking; I didn’t and burned some of my corn). Melt the butter in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water, pasta shells, cream, and half of the basil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in half of the feta and mix until creamy and the shells are coated, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Remove from the heat and season with salt (I should have used more salt; I held back because I figured the feta would be salty enough). Top with remaining feta, basil, and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

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Verdict: 3.5/5 – Between the corn, the basil, and even the feta, this recipe was bursting with summer with just the right amount of zing from the red pepper flakes. Still, this recipe was missing something, but I suspect it’s salt; I was sparing when I should have been generous. So if you make this recipe, learn from my mistake and don’t hold back on the salt.