Bourbon Pickleback Mac n Cheese

April 20, 2020
Bourbon Pickleback Mac n Cheese

Northeast Ohio is the home of meat and cheese. It’s what we do, and any trip to the West Side Market will verify it. Produce? It’s relegated to the semi-outdoor pavilion where celery and beet greens are whipped in your direction by vendors in a way that is either good sales tactics of flagellation to cleanse you before entering the shrine of all things moo, cluck, and oink.

It made sense, then, to whip up a dish that celebrates our great love for meats, cheeses, alcohol, and cardiologists: mac and cheese. This is inspired by one of my favorite meals at Woodstock, the smoked Turkey apple brie sandwich, and one of my favorite chasers for it: the Pickleback.

You Will Need:
– A large enameled cast iron pot
– Stockpot
– Whisk
– Pasta strainer
– Multiple oven-safe bowls
– Cheese grater (if you got block cheese)

The Mac Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rotini noodles
  • 2 tbsp Irish salted butter, plus a bit to wipe the inside of your oven-safe bowls
  • 1 lb Smoked Turkey, chopped
  • 4 oz chopped prosciutto
  • 1 can of rinsed fire-roasted corn (or make your own)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickles
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crushed potato chips
  • Optional: 4 slices of Provolone

The Mac Instructions:

  1. In the stockpot, cook the pasta in saltwater following the package instructions
  2. Strain the pasta
  3. In the pasta stockpot, add the butter, turkey, prosciutto, fire-roasted corn, chopped pickles, green onion, and hot sauce.
  4. STIR IT UP
  5. Add prepared pasta
  6. Set aside

The Cheese Ingredients: Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 lb Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 lb Havarti Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 lb Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and diced
  • 1/2 cup scallion, diced
  • 1 cup Rosé
  • 1 1/2 oz Cleveland Whiskey Smokin’ Bourbon
  • 1 oz pickle juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • A pinch or two of nutmeg

The Cheese Instructions: Cheese Sauce

  1. In a large mixing bowl, toss the shredded cheese with the cornstarch, coating it thoroughly.
  2. Rub your enameled cast iron pot with the two smashed garlic cloves and toss them.
  3. Turn the heat to medium, add no more than a tsp of olive oil (just enough to keep things from sticking), and let it heat up to a shine.
  4. Toss in the diced scallion and garlic, add a pinch of salt and stir to prevent burning.
  5. Once your aromatics are translucent, add the rosé and bring it to a simmer.
  6. When the wine begins to simmer, add the Smokin’ Bourbon, pickle juice, and Dijon mustard and let it simmer for two minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to low and SLOWLY add your cheese mixture, one handful at a time and whisk constantly. Do not use a spoon: you need a whisk for this and put that arm to work.
  8. When your fondue is uniform and silky smooth, stir in a pinch or two of nutmeg and turn the heat down to its lowest setting.
  9. Do not cover the fondue

The Mac n Cheese

  1. Take your noodle salad and add it into the fondue, stirring and coating until it is totally combined and uniform.
  2. Preheat your over to 350 degrees
  3. Put Mac and Cheese in a casserole dish, cover the top with slices of provolone cheese, sprinkle on your ground-up potato chips, and put it in the oven until the crumbs brown and the pot is bubbling around the sides, usually around 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with chopped parsley, a bit of lemon zest, fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Optional: Add additional hot sauce to taste