My brother Tom once asked me why Filipino food always has to be served with rice. He wanted to see a more inventive approach. Well Tom, today is your lucky day. Thanks to a very inventive Brit (believe it or not, it was his idea to try this crazy mix), I now present the ultimate fusion - MAC MAC, an American classic with a Filipino twist.
MAC MAC takes the home-style comfort goodness of macaroni and cheese, and throws in some Adobo attitude for good measure. The dish sounds bizarre, but it actually works and is my first attempt at Filipino-American fusion.
For those of you not familiar with the Filipino culture, we have a tendency to double-up words. We do it for everything: Jon-Jon (my cousin) sari-sari (corner store) halo-halo (a crushed ice dessert), so I'm calling this one MAC-MAC.
A small pot of your favorite Chicken Adobo recipe. Reserve 1/4 of the juice and 2 cups of cooked meat. Remove the meat from the bone and cut into bite-size pieces.
Macaroni & Cheese
2/3 of a box of elbow macaroni
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend
3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Take out the milk to bring it to room temperature.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the pasta until al dente, 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Transfer back into the pot and toss in some olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Set aside.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to brown the mixture.
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. Slowly add the cheese little by little until fully melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Slowly pour the cheese mix into the pasta pot and mix well. Mix in the Adobo juice and chicken. Taste for seasoning.
Transfer to a baking dish or a cast iron skillet.
Combine the shredded Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the macaroni.
Bake for approximately 10 - 15 minutes at 400° F. Then broil for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese.