Tillamook Test Kitchen: Mac & Cheese Sushi
I’ve seen some images floating around online of sushi rolls made with mac and cheese. Could it be that a marriage between sushi and mac and cheese, two of my favorite foods, really exists? There was only one way to find out if this urban legend was as scrumptious as it looked.
My experiment began with creating three different flavors of mac and cheese. The first was your standard fare, not too gooey, but certainly cheese laden. The second, I made extra cheesy. Something inside me said, the more cheese I added, the closer to sticky rice the consistency would get. The third was all about flavor. I used Tillamook Garlic White Cheddar to kick it up a notch. Once my mac and cheese was prepped, I let it cool in the fridge for an hour. You know how when you refrigerate leftover mac and cheese, it firms up? Well that’s exactly what I was going for!
An hour later, I removed it from the fridge and started making my rolls…easier said than done. I covered my sushi rolling mat in plastic wrap and sprinkled breadcrumbs over one third of the mat. Then, I scooped the mac and cheese onto the breadcrumbs and spread it out into a long rectangle, trying to make sure there were no gaps. I tried placing a few different things inside the rolls: pesto sauce, parmesan, more breadcrumbs, and thin strips of cheese. Rolling the rolls proved pretty difficult, especially with the plastic wrap. I ended up trying aluminum foil as well, which held its shape much better. The mac and cheese oozed out the ends of my rolling mat on my first few tries. Once I had the rolls complete and wrapped, I placed them in the fresezer for another hour.
I took the rolls out, unwrapped them, and sliced them into sushi pieces using a sharp knife. I let the rolls sit out and warm to room temperature before eating (I highly recommend this, they’ll hold their shape and taste much better). I sprinkled some cayenne pepper on top of a few of the rolls for good measure, and dipped the sushi pieces in pesto sauce, Tabasco sauce, and Secret Aardvark Habanero sauce.
As far as execution, the rolls with strips of cheese in the center held up the best. The pesto sauce leaked through the center of the roll, but still tasted great. I really recommend trying this experiment with the flavored cheddars. The Garlic White Cheddar rolls were my favorite!
Would you try this cheestastic sushi experiment!?