We might be in the midst of a summer heatwave, but one day, the rain will return, and we’ll all go in search of comfort in the form of a big bowl of mac’n’cheese.
We are more than happy to dish that up for you (and take care of the dishes, too), but in case you are a DIY kind of person, or not currently in driving distance of Pemberton, here’s the recipe. (Because some art forms/life skills ought to be mastered.) As Anthony Bourdain says every human being should know how to make an omelette. We’d add, and mac’n’cheese from scratch. There’s so much more love (and cream, yes, that, too) in it than a box of you-know-what.
"In an ideal society, everyone over 12 should be able to cook a few basic things reasonably well. They should be able to feed themselves and a few friends, if called to do so, both as a kindness, and as a basic life skill."
Our Wild & Tame mac’n’cheese is a little tamer than it used to be, but the classic mac with Elk Chorizo, BC mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes is still a staple on our 5 year old menu.
The dish was featured on The Food Network's You Gotta Eat Here, when John Catucci and crew descended and turned our restaurant into a busy film studio for a day. It was also recently shared in the Pique, when Cathryn Atkinson chatted to Randy about the new Market space.
The dish name refers to the featured mushrooms, which, depending on the season are a mix of cultivated (the tame ones) and foraged (the wild ones).
Originally the dish was made with Wild Venison Chorizo from Sydney Island (near Vancouver Island), a harvested deer meat. But now, it’ s made with farm-raised Elk meat… a little more tame.
8oz elk chorizo — fully cooked (can substitute your favourite chorizo sausage)
2 cups assorted wild & cultivated mushrooms — chopped into ¾" pieces
12 medium size green asparagus stalks – cut about ¾" long (woody bottom section removed)
1 cup fresh tomato — diced
3 ½ cups 36 per cent whipping cream (plus a little extra)
1 ¾ cups mozzarella cheese — grated
1 ½ cups aged white cheddar cheese — grated
4 cups cooked elbow noodles (plus a little extra) — cooked al dente
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice chorizo in half, length wise, then slice into 1/4" pieces cross wise.
In heavy bottom wide pot, melt butter over medium heat, don't brown butter.
Add sliced chorizo to pot.
Sauté chorizo until oils start to come out, add mushrooms and gently cook.
Once mushrooms have just started to cook down add diced tomato and asparagus.
Sauté mixture together for about 30 seconds on high heat. Add whipping cream.
Allow cream to come to a boil and then simmer, reducing cream by about one third.
Add cooked elbow noodles, simmer noodles in hot cream to warm.
Add all cheese, and adjust temperature to a gentle simmer.
Incorporate cheese by stirring/folding with a heat-proof rubber spatula.
Cheese should be fully melted and adding some viscosity to the cream mixture around the noodles.
If mixture is too dry add additional cream, if too wet add a little extra pasta or cheese.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Present in individual bowls or family style in a large serving vessel. Makes a great comfort food meal and would go great with a fresh garden salad!