I was recently inspired by a friend when he posted a picture on Instagram of Lobster Mac n Cheese and said he felt grateful to be in Canada to make such a Mac n Cheese. The inspiration obviously wasn't the lobster but I asked myself, if Mac n Cheese loving Aliens came and knocked on my apartment door and the only way I would avoid being abducted was to cook them a Mac n Cheese that symbolized Berlin, what would it be?
One way I could have gone was the Doner, a sandwich with a creamy sauce, veggies (usually lettuce, cabbage, tomato, cucumber, onion and almost any other veggie) and feta. It is one of my favorites here in Berlin but I thought to myself cabbage and cucumber with Mac n Cheese just sounds bad.
But there is another dish that is a symbol of Berlin, the Currywurst. All around the city, stands offering fries and currywurst flow endlessly with not only tourists but also with locals. A time honored street food that dates back to 1949 where creativity was needed in a post war Germany that lacked the over abundance of food that now fills the restaurants and grocery stores. Currywurst is so the symbol of Berlin that there is even a museum dedicated to it, which is a bit strange but fantastic.
The easy version of Currywurst and the version that I made was essentially ketchup and curry powder mixed together and either tossed with slices of sausage (in my case vegetarian sausage) or simply smeared on top of the whole sausage. So here is how I made Currywurst Mac n Cheese
So, I started making the curry ketchup.
So for about 1/2 cup (125ml) curry ketchup I use, 1/2 (125ml) cup of ketchup and 1/2 tsp (2ml) of curry powder, heat the ketchup add the curry and mix through. You can add more spice but keep some of the sweetness of the ketchup (meaning don't add too much curry)
Next I made my sauce
Start by making a roux
1 tbsp (14ml) of margarine of butter and 1 tbsp (14ml) of flour
Add the margarine to a pan and slowly over medium low heat melt the butter.
Once melted slowly add in the flour, while constantly whisking (with a whisk and not with a fork)
Now, whisk until the mixture starts to go blonde (it is not so clear with margarine but it takes about 5min)
Then the Sauce
1 cup (2250ml) of milk (cow or plant), 1/2 cup (125ml) of cream (cow or plant) and about 2 cups of cheese (cow or plant)......if you do use cow cheese and are actually vegetarian be sure to check if the cheese is actually vegetarian, some cheeses use animal rennet.... 1 tbsp (14ml) each of veggie base, salt and garlic powder (not garlic salt)
When your roux is at the blonde stage, slowly but steadily add in your milk (don't forget to whisk), let it thicken and add the cream and lastly the spices. Now let gently simmer for about 5min or when you taste it (and you should always taste your food) and the bitterness of the flour is gone.
Next cook your macaroni, I used 500ml and follow the package direction in cooking of the pasta.
The last part of the Currywurst Mac n Cheese is of course the wurst or sausage. I bought them. Unless you are blessed with more time then I have do yourself a favor and just buy them to. Making wurst from scratch is fun but hard work and you are about to cover them with curry ketchup, so any will do.
Just fry them up according to the package. Usually about 5 min in oil.
Now comes the fun.
Take the hot pasta (of course drained of its water and lightly sprayed with cold water to ensure it won't stick but dry, really dry....i can't stress this enough) and add some of your hot cream sauce an mix together and put on to your plate.
Next take your hot sausage and cut into finger width pieces and toss with the curry ketchup and place on top. And enjoy!