My favorite way of using the Respek spice blend is by taking dishes I make everyday and replacing all spices with Respek.  Honestly, you can use any Mac and Cheese recipe; but here is one I created.

 

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart of whole milk
2 tablespoon of Respek spice blend
1 8oz block of sharp cheddar (cubed or shred)
1 16 oz bag of shredded sharp cheddar
1 16 oz bag of  shredded mozzarella
1 5oz-8oz block of smoked gouda  (cubed or shred)
2 lbs of frozen peeled/deveined/tail-off shrimp
4 cups of fusilli pasta (if you buy a 16oz bag then you’ll have some left over)

 


Pasta

Fill a large pot (at least 5qt)  bring water to a boil; salt the water generously.  I like starting this first since it takes a while for the water to start boiling.  Cooking the pasta while cubing/shredding the cheese is a good way to be time efficient.  Also, it’s extremely annoying nursing cheese sauce while waiting for water to come to a boil.

Follow the instructions on the package and stop 2 minutes short of the recommended cook time - the pasta will finish in the oven.  When draining the pasta, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.


Bechamel/Cheese Sauce

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes.  Start with about a cup of milk and mix well into the saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of Respek.   Next, gradually add the remaining milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to simmer and add the cheese you manually cubed/shredded.  Lower the heat and allow the cheese to fully melt.  Taste the sauce and add more Respek if you like; this is the point to get the seasoning just right before transferring to a casserole dish.


Start preheating the oven at 350 degrees.


Baking

In a 3.5 qt casserole dish, start with a thin layer of noodles, then with a large spoon, use just enough cheese sauce to coat pasta.  Add a light layer of the pre-shredded cheddar/mozzarella, then a layer of shrimp.  Repeat this until your dish is full


Place the casserole dish inside of the oven and cook for no longer than 30 minutes(don’t want the shrimp to shrink and get hard.)  Check at about 20-25 minutes, if everything is melted then you can remove.  It takes very little effort to cook shrimp and all of the other ingredients are cooked.


Leave a comment