Today, I came back from the Masjid very hungry. I wanted something quick and easy and the Mac and Cheese box in my pantry suddenly looked very appetizing. Usually, I always play with my Mac and Cheese recipies by adding extra cheese, sour cream, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, onions, tuna, hot sauce, A1 sauce, Mango Thokku (very spicy) and almost anything (I have never tried maple syrup) that I see in the fridge or pantry. This time around I wanted to make it following the recipe exactly is it was laid out on the back of the box. This decision was compounded by the factor that this was a new type that I never tried before (Creamy instead of the cheesiest). So I started following the direction by taking out a pan, boiling water in the pan, taking out the butter and…. there was no milk. Oh no, what am I going to do, I have no milk and the recipe asked for a 1/2 cup of milk.
Adding water did not sound appetizing, so I opened my fridge and started browsing for a substitute. My eyes slowly glanced over maple syrup, A1 sauce, Italian dressing, ranch dressing, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, Mango Thokku and yogurt. If was not for a certain experience about I had 2-3 weeks ago, I would have glazed right over yogurt, not find anything, get frustrated and then end up using water. Back in December, when we went to Canada for Reviving the Islamic spirit we brought with us a cooler fulled with pastries(Fati’er), including spinach, meat, white cheese and zatr. However, these pastries were dry and are usually eaten with yogurt, which we did not have. My father took the tube of labaneh that we brought with us and added water and turned it back into something that tasted very similar to yogurt. His explanation was Labaneh is dried yogurt, and by rehydrating it we can turn it back into yogurt (or at least something similar). I have never thought of it that way and I usually considered food follows irreversible changes. This lesson I will remember for life (finally).
Back to my story, this time I did have a tube of yogurt, but no milk. So I started to wonder, if my father was able to turn Labaneh to yogurt, why can’t I try to do the same thing. I knew that yogurt is not just the condensation of milk and it involves bacteria and so on. Yet it still does contain the essence of milk (they are both white!!!) and while yogurt might have more flavor it was still worth a try. So I got my 1/2 cup and put 1/4 cup of yogurt with 1/4 cup of water. I half heartedly tried to mix them together but since the 1/2 cup was filled to the brim you could not really mix it and it was not worth my efforts to put it in a bigger container.
I followed the rest of the recipe exactly and added the yogurt/water mix instead of the milk at the required step. Mixed it all till the butter fully melted and served my self.
It was delicious, the yogurt gave the mac and cheese such a wonderful taste. It turned the simple cheesy taste into a delicuous complex taste (something I always try to do, which is why I have mixed so many ingredients with my M&C). I was truly suprised and might officialy switch to using yogurt instead of milk.
However, before you all start dumping your milk down the drains (I mean throats) and start using yogurt instead for mac and cheese. I want to remind you that I did this experiment on a box (creamy), that I have never tasted before. While, I do feel that yogurt was responsible for the rich tasted, as I scientist I will have to do the same experiment on the box that I always get (the cheesiest) and compare. Maybe I will do a full design of experiments (DOE), get test subjects and start finding out the truth behind that rich taste. If only people would trust me with their food 🙂