Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TOO DELICIOUS FOR WORDS: BAKED MACARONI AND CHEESE CUSTARD


(c) 2008, Judy Barnes Baker
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The word “custard” doesn’t prepare you for the beautiful, brown, cheesy crust. I could have called this Macaroni and Cheese Soufflé (it tastes like one, but that makes it sound much harder to make than it is), or Crustless Macaroni and Cheese Quiche (no improvement over the first title), or Cheese Puff (sounds too much like Cheetos®). Whatever you call it, I know you are going to love this versatile macaroni and cheese dish: it can be served for breakfast; as the main course for brunch or luncheon; as an appetizer; or the one I like best, as a delicious, low-carb side dish.

2 ounces Dreamfields™ elbows (1/2 cup dry)
1 cup of heavy cream
3 eggs
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in macaroni and cook until just done, stirring once or twice. (Check for doneness two minutes before the time given in the directions on the pasta box. It should be slightly firm since it will be cooked again.) Drain immediately and rinse with cold water. Place on paper toweling to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter 4 (eight-ounce capacity) ramekins. Stir together the cheese and place ¼ of the cheese and ¼ of the pasta in each buttered baking cup.

Heat the cream until just warm. Whisk together cream, eggs, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour the custard mixture over cheese and pasta, filling the cups almost to the top.

Put ramekins on a baking sheet and place on middle rack in preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until puffed and well browned. (Check progress by looking through oven window; do not open oven door until custards are well risen.) Remove to a rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Custards will sink a bit as they cool. Serve warm.

Makes 4 Servings.

Total Carb: 10.25g, Protected Carbs: 7.75g, Fiber: 1.75g, Net Carb: 1.75g*
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* Dreamfields pasta is made of regular semolina flour (that’s why it tastes so good), but it contains a fiber blend that protects most of the starch from being digested. It has 5 digestible grams of carbohydrate per each 2-ounce serving and a low glycemic index of 13. It should be cooked only to the al dente stage, which means it should feel slightly firm “to the tooth.” If it is overcooked, it will become more digestible. It is also important that if it is reheated, it should be done gently and only until warm.

Those with diabetes are advised to test for blood glucose spikes after eating Dreamfields. Their Website states, “Results do vary by person, so try Dreamfields and see what your glycemic results show.”

Tips for using Dreamfields:
- Use plenty of water. One pound of pasta requires at least 4 quarts of water.
- Bring water to a full, rolling boil. Add one tablespoon of salt per pound of pasta
- Add pasta to boiling water gradually.
- Stir pasta gently to keep pasta from clumping.
- Leave the pot uncovered and keep water at a constant boil. Stir occasionally.
- Test the pasta 2 minutes before end of cooking time to check tenderness.


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