Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mac & Bleu

Not all macaroni and cheese is created equal. Scotty’s Brewhouse has one that soars above the rest. Recently Scotty’s mac and cheese with bleu cheese crumbles and Cajun spices was ranked in the elite 8 of Best of Indy’s ‘Macaroni and Bleu,’ along with such restaurants as St. Elmos and the Scholars Inn.

“We decided to go with macaroni and cheese [as the contest] because there are so many interesting varieties in Indianapolis. Gourmet mac and cheese has been a trend for the past several years, and we wanted to put those offerings against the tried-and-true traditional versions around town. Our high scorers ended up being a diverse group, with everyone from 14 West to Scotty's to Jacquie's Catering,” said Courtney Leach, Editor of Indianapolis Dine.

In order to be considered for the contest the recipe had to be an original and not ordered from a supplier. Each entry made to the Best of Indy’s ‘Macaroni and Bleu’ contest was awarded a score based on flavor, appearance, texture and more.

“The creamy bleu cheese adds flavor and texture, and the Cajun adds a nice bite [to the recipe],” said Luke Duncan, Scotty’s Brewhouse Director of Kitchen Operations.
“Winning this award is a nice nod to the fact that simplicity mixed with great ingredients can beat some fancy pants stuff,” said Duncan.

Macaroni and cheese was a part of most every child’s youth. The comfort feeling of “home cooking” can be tasted while spooning in the cheese-filled pasta shells.
“Personally, I think it has to either be an exceptional version of the homestyle mac and cheese we all grew up on, or it has to be a gourmet version that still appeals to the every day diner. Across the board, all of the components -- the sauce, the noodles, any toppings-- have to be executed exceptionally well to place in the top ten,” said Leach.

Like most items on the Brewhouse menu, what gives the mac and cheese character is simplicity and the made-from-scratch recipe.

“It costs more and can be difficult for consistency’s sake,” said Scott Wise, owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse, “but, putting in the extra effort to make our sauces every morning, order fresh produce daily and hand patty all our burgers – this is one of the secrets to our success.”

Scotty's was the only entry incorporating bleu cheese, earning it high marks for its similarities to pizza in flavor.

When looking to pair this recipe with something else on the brewhouse menu, “Beer, Beer, Beer,” said Duncan.

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