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Put This In Your Mouth: Rainbow Mac and Cheese

Put This In Your Mouth: Rainbow Mac and Cheese

Another day, another food trend. This time, the big culinary craze is rainbow, as in making all of your food rainbow-colored. And while it may look, sound, and (for all we know) taste strange, we still want to try it. And so we’ve come up with what we think is the next step in the trend’s evolution: baked rainbow mac and cheese.

You may have caught this colorful meal on the Nerdist Facebook page last week for our new series, Put This In Your Mouth, where Dan Casey, Rachel Heine, and I (Jenn Fujikawa) play with wild, weird food. For this edition of PTIYM, I taught Dan and Rachel how to make this creamy, gooey, rainbow-y dish.

As you can see, not only is the pasta rainbow but so is the crunchy panko topping. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist such a happy meal of carbs. Rainbow mac and cheese is sure to brighten up your dinnertime.

rainbow mac and cheese prep-05242016

Rainbow Mac N Cheese
Pasta ingredients:
-1 lb (4 cups) elbow pasta
-4 cups white cheddar cheese
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 cup whole milk
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-Red food gel dye
-Blue food gel dye
-Green food gel dye
-Yellow food gel dye
-salt and pepper
-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Topping ingredients:
-2 cups panko bread crumbs
-Red food gel dye
-Blue food gel dye
-Green food gel dye
-Yellow food gel dye

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep a 9×13 pan by greasing it with butter.

In four separate bowls divide the cheese up into one cup per bowl. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup milk to each bowl. Also add 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon paprika to each bowl. Season each bowl with salt and pepper.

Boil the pasta according to the package. Drain but do not rinse.

Evenly add the hot drained pasta to the four bowls, stirring to color.

Pour each bowl alongside each other into the prepped pan.

Put 1/4 cup panko crumbs into four separate sealable plastic bags. Add a few drops of red, blue, green into each bag and red + yellow into the last bag. Roll the panko around until it retains the color.

Top the pasta with the corresponding colored panko and add pieces of butter evenly on top.

Place the pan on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool slightly and serve.

Images: Jenn Fujikawa
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