I found a great, easy recipe for the smoker:
Easy smoked mac and cheese:
2 cups penne noodles, dry and uncooked
1/2 stick melted butter
3 cups cheese (use several kinds- great way to use up those random lumps of cheese that pile up)
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream or evaporated milk
seasonings to taste
Put all the ingredients in a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan and smoke at 260 degrees F for 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes for the first 1 1/2 hours, then let brown on top for the last 1/2 hour.
I used 2 cups sharp cheddar, 3/4 cup swiss cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. I was low on milk and had no cream, so I used 1 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cup reconstituted dry milk and 2 cups evaporated (canned) milk. I seasoned it with cumin, red chile, salt, pepper and garlic powder, then added about 1 1/2 cup shredded beef (leftovers from tacos). When I stirred it for the last time, I stirred in some wild greens and spinach, then topped it with bread crumbs. Definitely take it out of the smoker at 2-2 1/2 hours so it does not dry out, and finish it under the broiler for a minute or two if you want the top a little darker.
It turned out great! It could certainly be done in the oven (maybe even a bread machine
), or a dutch oven and probably a solar cooker, but you might want to add a little liquid smoke. The noodles fully cook and absorb most of the moisture and lots of flavor, leaving a creamy, smokey, cheesy sauce. Think of it like pizza- the basic recipe is just a starting point, then you can add whatever "toppings" you want.
While I was making this I was dreaming of other things: smoked lasagne, smoked croutons on a nice salad with some shaved parmesan, smoked pizza, smoked apple pie...
The original recipe came from "weekendgrilling.com"- I still can't figure out how to provide links on this new mac