Monday, October 26, 2009

The Hunger Presents: White Trash Girl - Episode 1

I spent roughly 12 years of my life in a place called Woodstock Georgia, about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. My mother had a pretty hard time making friends in the South being born in Cuba and raised in New York. The Southerners back in our little neck of the woods (and I do mean woods, we were kind of in the middle of Deliverance country) were friendly enough from a distance but didn't want the brown people at their party if ya know what I'm saying. I think we were the only ethnic people within a ten mile radius. Hell, I don't think I even saw a black person until I went to junior high. Pretty messed up. Anyways, my mother had an interesting cooking style. She cooked a lot of Cuban food and some Italian (my godfather is Italian) but she also adapted to the South by trying out all these 50's Americana, Southern white trash sort of dishes. Things like tuna noodle casserole, hamburger mac, fried bologna sandwiches, etc. I loved the stuff. I have a serious addiction for these kind of dishes. I definitely do not have a salt or cheese deficiency. This kind of food is a part of my history. Now that were in another semi-depression these kind of meals are becoming more and more popular. They're cheap to make and they are filling. As you can probably tell, I am not a food snob. While I love organic, local, sustainable foods I also have a deep respect for down and dirty food. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to use crap ingredients. You can elevate white trash food by using local, high quality ingredients. In my mind you are still cooking with white trash spirit which is good enough for me. Even though I am part Cuban, Chinese, and French Canadian, once you live in the South, it becomes a part of you. I still hear my Southern twang come out once in a while and I still love my hot dog and tater tot casseroles.

Spicy Taco-Mac

16 oz. macaroni pasta
1 lb. ground beef
2 cups half and half
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp AP flour
1 packet of taco seasoning (or make your own)
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper tt
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (my fave is Beecher's Flagship cheese), grated
your favorite hot sauce (Tapatio is mine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked al dente. Set aside. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef whole in a skillet on medium high heat until just cooked through. Mix the taco seasoning in a 1/2 cup of water. Add to the beef and simmer until the sauce thickens. Add a few good dashed of the hot sauce. Set aside.

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour making sure there are no lumps and cook the roux, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in half and half, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in the taco beef. Pour pasta into the cheese sauce and mix well. Pour mixture into the baking dish and bake 30 minutes until golden brown. If you want to get really white trash, crumble nacho flavored Doritos with a little butter and sprinkle over the top before baking. Enjoy and leave your guilty feeling at the door.


Jennifer B said...

Oh my god. Are you kidding me? I'm sitting here, stomach growing with cold coffee daydreaming about the perfect meal I could eat right now..and then I see this...absolute torture.

Also, when do we get the hot dog and tat tot casserole?? :)

Violet said...

haha, very soon my dear. ;)

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