Join us every Thursday at 11 AM ET for genius ideas in food, entertaining, travel and more! And if you make any of the recipes shown today, show us using #MadGeniusLive for a chance to be featured on next week's episode. On this week's #MadGeniusLive, Melissa Clark of The New York Times joins Justin Chapple for an episode devoted entirely to a Southern classic: Pimento cheese.
[MUSIC] You are tuning into Mad Genius Live. I've had a special guest today. Melissa Clark from New York Times is here to talk about her new book Dinner in an Instant. Melissa what do you gonna make for us? Pimiento Mac and Cheese [MUSIC] My gosh Melissa is so cute. Everybody, good morning and welcome to Mad Genius Live. My name is Justin Chapple. I am your host today. And we have a really exciting show for you. If you tuned in last week then you know we want you to engage, we want you to interact, ask questions, send us suggestions. Or just make some comments, tell us your opinion. Do it all using our handy, dandy hashtag mad genius live. You could use it on all platforms. I'm really excited to be here today, and it's our second show. So if you were here last week. Then you know we asked you to tune in, and we asked you to use the hashtag. And in hopes of getting a little shout-out on the show, or a shout-out on our Instagram account. So please do so and I'm gonna tell you why, because we're gonna introduce. I'm sorry let me go back. We're going to show you a picture of somebody who cooked a recipe from last week. Cravings in Instagram. It's a really beautiful picture. We're going to put it up now. She made our flaxseed furikake from last week. And I mean that is spectacular and we're really excited. So just like cravingsinamsterdam, if you use the hashtag and show us what you cook at home then you just might get featured on Mad Genius Live. But You know, I have to introduce you someone whom I would like to think of as a friend, and I'm actually really honored that she decided to come on the show today. We're friends! We are friends! We're totally friends. And I'm so grateful because for a very long time, for many years, Melissa has been Been an icon, a food icon that she is one of my idols in the industry, it's someone who I aspire to be like, because her recipes are foolproof, and- You need more hair. I just need a little bit more hair. I once had a lot of hair, but- [LAUGH] Now it's a little short. Specially cuz I got a hair cut this week. It's very nice. But Melissa is here, she is a food writer for the New York Times, which is incredible and she also has a new book out. I do have a new book out. So you've got it right here, Dinner in an Instant. Now we were talking about this before, are you an instant pot person? Have you embraced the electric pressure cooker? Or you- [LAUGH] So I am a instant pot newbie. So our test kitchen manager here, Food and Wine, Kelsey Youngman is the expert. So she teaches me everything Instant pot. But that's part of why we wanted you on the show, because you are an Instant Pot expert. I am. I mean, I don't think I'm an expert, but I'm definitely an enthusiast. I love the Instant Pot And I wrote a book about it. And you know it all started because I'm a columnist for the New York Times and I wrote an article about the instant pot phenomenon. Because all of a sudden you'd see, like you'd go on Instagram, everybody would be Instant Pie Right. You know where they'd put up their photos There is this Facebook group that has like a million users. It became this phenomenon almost over night. And I wanted to see what the fuss was about. So I got one of these things and I started cooking. And I fell in love. You can make, you know brisket that takes two and a half hours. You do it in like 45 minutes. My favorite, beans, dried chick peas. Okay, Soak them overnight and cook them for four hours. And forget about it. 50 minutes starting from the dry peas. Stuff like this changes people's lives. It literally changes week night cooking. It does. It does. You can do a lentil soup in six minutes. You can do steel cut oats in the morning in five minutes. I mean this is the kind of thing that just helps people. And like a slow cooker, you just plug it in and you walk away. And it just Does it. I love that. And it's so funny that you say that because, and this is gonna speak to how much I love Melissa Clark, but. So, everyone was talking about the Instapot and I was like, I don't need a machine. I'm like, I like to cook. Yeah. I like to use pots, real pots. And then I heard that you were writing A book. And I was like, my God, what is all the fuss about? So then I was like, okay, I need to be a convert, because Melissa Clark's doing it, so I might as well do it. [LAUGH] So you know what they call it, people who love the Instant Pot? What's that? Potheads. [LAUGH] So we're just gonna be potheads together here. I think there's definitely- 11 o'clock in the morning. A pun intended Intended. Yeah, just a little bit. Okay, so I'm gonna, by the end of this show, I'm gonna be a pothead. You're gonna be a pothead, we're gonna be potheads together. And so one thing about the Instant Pot is that, so mac and cheese, we're gonna make pimento mac and cheese. We are making pimento mac and cheese! And it's some things it does better than the stove, like meat And beans they're better, they're actually like more evenly cooked. Mac and cheese it does it also like really reliably, and you can go do other thing. Cause you're like why would you do mac and cheese in this when it's not, it doesn't take a long time. Because it does it beautifully, and we're gonna show you. And then you could just walk away. Yeah. Great, so when Melissa told me she wanted to make pimento mac and cheese on the show I got really excited and actually decided to theme the whole show around pimento cheese. And there's another reason for that- Because you're a mad genius- Because I'm a mad genius, but I got the idea from you. But I also got the idea because, so my friend Ashley Christiensen who's a chef in North Carolina, she has Beasley's and has Poole's Diner. She actually sent me a care package Of the different pimento cheeses she makes and she does, you can see it right here on my Instagram, she does a variety of them and one of them, she actually uses green peppers instead of red peppers, and so she uses poblanos. Which is a little bit spicier than the pimento Right. And like a little bit smokey Yep And I was like, my gosh. I literally have to steal this idea. I'm borrowing it. Cuz I'm totally giving her all the credit for it. And I actually -> She's inspired you. We love to inspire each other. Right? Exactly. We inspire each other. You inspire me all the time. [NOISE] No, it's true. I want to make the apple all the time. This is changing my life as we speak. So he makes this apple tart where he like makes the apple into a rose. Like how beautiful is that. I'm going to do that. Well, your version will pry be better than mine. So Ashley inspired me to create a bunch recipes. But because I though a lot of people Maybe a lot of people watching don't realize what pimento cheese is but it's a very American thing, right? Yes. So I figured we'd start with my version of a very classic one and then we'll move on to my riff and then we'll move on to your Instant Pot mac and cheese. To the new classic mac and cheese with pimentos. And the Instant Pot of course. We're gonna start Pimento can be spelled two ways. I don't wanna get into all the nitty gritty but, it can be spelled with two I's which is pimiento, which is actually the Spanish term for sweet red pepper correct? Correct exactly. And then in America when we say pimento which is spelt with one I, we usually refer to the pimento cheese which is actually [UNKNOWN] here. These little guys. These little guys here. Which you find in a jar pretty much anywhere. Yep. So okay, let's get started with my classic version. But wait, we have to say something about pimientos. Pimiento stuffed olives are underrated, and I want to do. You and I need to do more, so if anybody out there loves pimiento-stuffed olives, I mean, am I the only one? No, I love them. Martini, we want to hear what you're doing with them. Martinis, bloody Mary's. No, no, but aside from drinks. You can use them in salads and things, so tell us, please. Hashtag. I think we need to have you back To do that. Okay, call to action. Using hastag madgeniuslive. Give us some ideas. We want to be inspired by you. And I want to learn fun things, other than just eating them out of my martini. Pimento stuffed olives, ready, set, go. Okay, so let's get started. So I'm gonna have to drain the pimentos in this bowl here. Because this is very simple, there's very few ingredients. And I have some shredded yellow cheddar here. Which is the main ingredient besides the pimentos and You can't use white cheddar for this right because it's not going to look right?>> Not for this version.>>Right it's not going to look right.>> The classic version is it's like orange, it's bright orange.>> It's got to be.>> Yes, so I just shredded this in my food processor but I want to show you, you can do this all by hand it can be a A really a dump and stir recipe and I tend to like my pimento cheese really fine. But some people like it a little more course. So I just wanna show people two ways of using a box grater. So if you press firmly and you do long strokes with your cheese on your box grater, you get these long shreds. But for my pimento cheese I like to do little short. Spurts like this, because you get much finer cheese. You know, I actually never knew that you could do, I never thought about. [LAUGH] I've never thought about the two different ways to grate cheddar cheese. So this is. Handy dandy box grater ladies and gentlemen. This is a good thing. Okay, let me just add this in here. And you finish that. Yep, and then we're going to. You want me to do the onion? I'm gonna hand you this. You wanna stir the peppers into here? Sure. So here you go. [SOUND] And then another ingredient which, some people put garlic, some people use onion, some people don't use any. I like to grate onion and add it to the mixture. And I'm grating it because obviously we're not using a food processor or anything like that. We're just Well another great thing about grating sorry. [LAUGH] Is that embarrassing? is that you get the juice. It's not just the pieces of onion, you're getting onion juice and that mixes in really well so you're getting a more intense onion flavor for using less of the onion, if that makes sense. That makes a lot of sense and it also But the little pieces that you get in there from grainy are not the little pieces where you're gonna get and then you're like, my God my breath's gonna smell- Right, exactly. All day long. The juice's much better Right. It actually gets into everything and you don't have those little pieces stuck on your teeth. Right. So, we like grater. And also for garlic too. Do you use that for garlic? Yeah, of course. I'm a huge grated garlic person. Every night for dinner when I make my salad dressing, I grate a clove of garlic into the bowl. Uh-huh. A whole clove of garlic for just the two of us. We're used to each other so it's fine. [LAUGH] A pinch of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil and that's my salad dressing. [SOUND] Okay, so I have about two tablespoons of Grated onion. I'm going to put it in, let you mix it around. It's very fragrant, that onion. But another thing, it doesn't hurt my eyes. When you grate it, it's not, you know when you cho pit and you start to cry immediately, the grating is a little more gentle on the eyes. A lot more gentle. And then, of course, the other main ingredient is mayonnaise. Everything should have mayonnaise. Everything should have mayonnaise or butter. Almost, almost everything I put it in? Yeah, go ahead. So it's not, let me just reach over you. It might sound a little crazy, but this is actually, I don't think you can make pimento cheese without mayonaisse, right? You can't, why would you do such a thing? Because it's kind of a basically, and I don't think we got into exactly what pimento cheese is, but it's basically like a dip or a spread. Right. And you can, as you can see here we have a beautiful [INAUDIBLE] platter with tons of crackers. Because I don't think you, I don't eat pimento cheese without either Ritz or saltines. Which do you like better, Ritz or saltines? Ritz. Yes, Ritz are better. Because it's so buttery and deliciious. All right. I'm going to add some hot sauce here. I do a half a teaspoon but, That's a lot. That's good. I know, it is a lot. It gives it a kick. I like it. Every, yesterday when we were making some of this in the kitchen here. [UNKNOWN] is like, a half a teaspoon? Yeah, no because you know what? It's not just the spice, it's also, Tabasco has vinegar. Mm-hm. And it's like you need the vinegar to cut the richness of the mayo and the cheese. Like it all just, it's just like a perfect food. Yep. Pimento cheese, it's a perfect food. I'm gonna add a little of salt. Pepper, okay great, great. Do you add pepper to yours? I do, I actually add black pepper. And you know what else I add sometimes when I'm feeling like wild and crazy? Celery salt. Oooo. I know, that was a little thing I picked up in the South and it's nice. It just gives it that little something, something extra. That's really smart. Some people use garlic powder in the pimento cheese. I don't like that so much, I just like the onion and no garlic powder. I like garlic and then, I'm not a garlic powder person so, but I do like onion I'm actually a huge garlic powder Are you really? What do you with it Garlic powder and onion powder, I make tons of dressing. Like->> Interesting. Fake ranches or homemade ranches. Okay. So we actually have a question from a viewer and they wanna know what they could do if they didn't use mayonaisse. So what do you think? I would do well with sour cream for sure. Sour cream. Sour cream is a good one. You need something to bind it. Right. So look how this is bound together in that creaminess. If you don't have something like that, then the cheese isn't gonna adhere So if you try to use olive oil, it's going to be a gloppy mess. But I think that you could probably use yogurt. You could use yogurt, the flavor would be weird. The flavor would be weird. If you use yogurt, try to find a really mild Greek yogurt so one that's not so tangy. That is a really good point. That looks absolutely beautiful. This is why we have [UNKNOWN] on the show, because she's here to answer all the difficult questions. I love to answer, I love answering. My first gig when I first started out at the New York Times I wrote a column called the Food Chain and this was when people actually wrote in letters and asked questions before people could find anything on the Internet, they'd write questions like why do eggs deflate if you put fat in the egg whites when you're beating? Yes, please. And I would answer them in the paper. And you can watch videos and read your articles from the New York Times Cooking, right? Yeah, okay, so New York Times Cooking, if you're interested in the Instant Pot at all, New York Times Cooking, nytcooking.com, has a whole guide how to use it. Everything you've always wanted to know about the Instant Pot that I wrote. So you have us check it out. So you should check it out actually. And we're gonna try this, so. Can we eat this? Yeah, so this is our classic My version of a classic pimento cheese. MMMM. You can see here, I like to serve it with Ritz crackers are my favorite way to eat it. It's so delicious. But you can have it with cucumbers, Perfect! And celery. I think I put a little bit too much tobasco in it. No, I love it, I love it. It's waking me up this morning. A little spicy. So. You going to make this stuff in time? We're going to make the second kind, which as I mentioned in the opener, is inspired by Ashley Christianson from North Carolina. She has pools [INAUDIBLE] and she has beasley's, and she makes a poblano pimento cheese. So this is a poblano pepper. It's green obviously. It's a little pointy. And It has kind of a medium thickness skin, I mean it's not quite as thick as like a red bell pepper, but it's not super thin. So we like to peel them. And one of the ways that we do, how would you describe the flavor of a poblano? So a poblano I would say it's a milder chili. You know, it's much more intense than a bell pepper, of course. But it's not like a jalapeno, it's much milder, kind of splits the difference. Right. I love it also for its sweetness. Yeah. It's got incredible sweetness. So it's sweet and a little bit of spicy. This is your, like-- If you ever-- Okay, here's a good hack. [LAUGH] I'm gonna give you a mad genius tip. Okay. If you ever want-- If you ever are thinking, I don't wanna use jalapeno in something, it's just a little too hot, and you can find a poblano, use a little poblano instead because it's a little milder. Especially for raw things. That is really, really smart. Here you go. And this is like one of my ingrdients for the moment. Like I know it's not a new thing, but I'm obsessed with it right now. So I'm so glad it's [UNKNOWN]. So the way that you peel this. I'm gonna go right over to the stove here. Because you actually roast these over an open flame as you know. But just in case people at home don't realize, you can actually do this right on your stove top like this. You see, I already have these charring And they get really nice and black and charred and you can see that the skin becomes a little ashy and you can do this under a broiler, really close to a broiler, and you can also do it on a barbeque. So, once you get them charred all over like this you transfer them to a bowl and I'm going to let you cover this. And, you have Another mad genius tip for you. I love tips. She's full of them. I'm going to bring her on the Mad Genius staff I think. Think. Awesome. So instead mostly you see how you used plastic wrap but if you want to do it in slightly more eco friendly way just put a plate on top of it and then you don't have the extra trash so. I mean. The point is you want to steam them. See how the. Yeah. Steam is building in there? Because the steam is going to help the skin release easily from the flesh of the pepper and I just have to say so right before we went live I was like okay Melissa then I'm going to ask you to cover. Or we can use a plate becasue it's a little more eco-friendly and I was like yes. Yes absolutely we can and we need to that so we did. Okay I'm going to show you what these loook like after they steam and Melissa and I are going to, I'm going to give one to Melissa, she's goin gto get this big one. Can I use some paper towels to get off some of the. My gosh, yeah I have some right here. Perfectly! Perfect little Look at that! Look at this paper towels already. So cool, so one of my other hacks is to have like little individual slices of paper towels. Yeah, who's going to do that for you? So check out the [laughter] So here's a hack- Well we have David McCann who's our test kitchen assistant here, so he did these for me That's awesome Very nice of him. I'll could have my child do it actually, my nine year old is capable of doing that I think. So You could see here, we're just wiping pretty much, but I'm gonna just go right over you for this knife. Yep. You can literally wipe off the skins with paper towel. Yeah, it comes right off. I sometimes like to use a knife, like this. And it pretty much, these are humungous. These are the biggest. I think I'm gonna cut this. They're beautiful. Some people wanna rinse these under water, right? And you shouldn't do that cuz then you're rinsing away a lot of the flavor. Right. So don't do that. Cuz it releases some oils. Yeah. As it's cooking, so I'm just peeling it and I'm seeding it. You see that? I just take that right out. This is really good->> Sorry, [UNKNOWN] No problem, and you just scrape off the skin I wanted to slice it open because I want to show you the other way I like to peel is. I go like this and then I'm just going to scrape, I actually learned this working in restaurants because we had to peel every single red pepper that we used.>>oh god.>>because it was a classic french restaurant so.>> Did they make you peel the peas.>> my gosh, everything, the snap peas even you literally I was like we're pealing snap peas Who peels a [UNKNOWN]? I don't even know how to do that. I don't know. Something's beeping. Something's beeping. That is our swap. That is [LAUGH]. So I'm just [UNKNOWN]. Are we allowed to talk about that? We are, cuz it's television but everyone knows that. Everyone knows we have swaps. Everyone knows that we have swaps. Okay, so we peeled our peppers. I'm only gonna use one for this recipe. And I'm going to transfer it to a food processor. This is Food and Wine's food processor, that we put out just recently. And I'm just gonna give it a rough chop to get it going. You're just using one of them. Just using one of them. But I wanted to put Melissa to work. Right, exactly. [LAUGH] Otherwise, what would I do? I'd twiddle my thumbs. You'll actually Share tons of information because that's what you've been doing and I love it. I like wish i had as much information to share No, you totally do, we're a good team this way because we can go back and forth. And then that tip and then that tip! And then that one. So I'm just going to add this to this food processor Can we just stop and talk about this like crazy This is our immersion blender that actually converts into a food processor, I really love it because it saves a lot of space in the kitchen. Because you don't have the thing on the bottom. Exactly! I'm just going to chop it a little bit. [SOUND] The pepper. And then I'm going to go ahead and add- will you hand me a rubber spatula? I will. Thank you. Do you want me to grate the onion for this? Yes, please. So, also for this version, I'm putting grated onion in it. For the same reason as glass but I'm also gonna add, so I have my pepper in here. I'm gonna add the graded onion. I'm, gonna add, so for this version I'm adding green hot sauce. Okay. Instead of tabasco. To keep the whole thing green. Yeah just to give it this verde theme goign. I know that you probably wouldn't do this but what do you think of the idea of Cilantro in the green version to green it up. I think it's a great idea. You think that's a- Because I love cilantro. You think that'd be good? Yeah. Cilantro haters- But actually, believe it or not, I'll tell you a little insider secret, and Melissa will probably be very familiar with this, but when I develop recipes for Food and Wine, Whether it's the magazine or the cookbooks or digitally, I always try to keep the ingredient list really short. Right, right. Yes. It's easier. Yeah. So although when I create recipes like this, I"m like, I want to put cilantro in it, I want to put this and I want to do two kinds of green peppers. Right. I say to myself, okay, let's start making it and scale it back. And how do we get it under ten ingredients? It's like when a French woman gets stressed, right? She puts on her accessories, and then before Before she leaves the house, she takes off one thing. Right? Same thing. So smart. Yup. Okay, so we have our poblano, we have two teaspoons of green hot sauce. I added the two tablespoons grated onion. I'm gonna put it back on and just give it another quick pulse before, wait, it's all right. [SOUND] I'll go back. [SOUND] All right, and then I'm gonna add my mayonnaise, because it has to have mayonnaise, and I'm gonna add my cheese. So I shredded my cheese prior to this, but this is what I was saying before where if I weren't using a food processor, I would want the cheese more finely shredded. I see. Right. So this is bigger than your other one. Mm-hmm. Because we're gonna chop it up more. Yeah. You could see here. Yup. Like it's so much bigger. Now did you grate that in the food processor too? Yeah. Did you put the little graty thing on there? Yeah, I put the little Grater dis on and then I grate it which made it a lot quicker. But then I like to put it in at the end with a blade. Right. Oops, I'm spilling this everywhere. That's okay, I'll clean up after you. And then I'm just gonna pulse this. And so it comes together.https://worker.mturk.com/ And then we're gonna eat it again, right? Yeah. We should have it in a saltine this time, just mix it up. What do you think? I think we should. So we just, you know, be different that way. Just to be fair. Fair to saltines. [NOISE] And I'm pausing because I don't wanna puree, I wanna leave a little bit of texture. [SOUND] But it's okay if you have texture, because it not only makes it pretty, but you get all the little bites of everything. All right, I'm gonna go a litlte bit more. Yeah, there's like one big chunk in there. One big pepper that keeps getting stuck on the top. I know, right? Now I see it. Okay, good. This dang pepper is gonna be the death of me. We're gonna get it. We're gonna get that pepper. We're gonna get it, okay. We're gonna hunt it down and we're gonna puree it. [SOUND] I think that looks good. Yeah. Looks beautiful. All right. so this is pablano pimento cheese. Very nice. Imagine this life. Is that going to be like a new song? Are you going to have a little number with that? We're going to have a segment where we just sing the recipes. I think that that would be quite good. My god. I could do that. And I'm definitely going to have you on for that one. Do you sing? Well no but I'll pretend. I'll fake it, I'll fake it till I make it Look at this. And one thing I didn't mention is that you could actually, so when I tested this recipe I actually didn't add any salt to it. [CROSSTALK] believe it or not You didn't add any salt because of the cheese and the mayo had enough salt or Because of the cheese but then also because it's, the hot sauce I use is green it's much milder than tobasco. So I added Like four times as much. That's right, you just said two teaspons. Yeah, two teaspons. So after I added the hotsauce, I actually felt like it didn't need, it really didn't need any additional salt. Which I know is great for people at home who are trying to watch their sodium intake. Okay, look at this, and it's so awesome because they're both super simple recipies. And as I like to say on Mad Genius Live, is it's genius because it's simple. Yes, it's so ture. So true. Actually, that is true. I'm going to eat this now. Okay. And we also have to- Wow. Good? That's so good. It doesn't even need salt. It doesn't even need salt. My God. I like it just as much as that. I didn't think I would. Yeah. So we did our classic version, my version of a classic We did the poblano pimento cheese. And the great thing about pimento cheese, believe it or not, it's not just a dip you eat with crackers and crudites, but you can use it for a lot of different things. I love to actually make stuffed grilled cheese with it. And, which we're gonna show you a picture of, and you can get the recipe for that, foodandwine.com, there it is. But I also love, and this is a recent recipe of mine, I like to stuff it under chicken skin, and then roast the whole bird. That is insane. It is insane. Yeah. It's beautiful. It flavors all the meat. It's so good. All right. All right. The moment we've been waiting for, because although we love a classic and a riff, we're going to do the ultimate riff on pimento cheese Pimento mac and cheese, cuz everybody loves a mac and cheese, and we love pimento cheese, so. Yes, and so if you're just joining us, Melissa Clark from the New York Times is here to talk about her new book, Dinner In an Instant, which is available everywhere now. Instant Pot. Yes it is actually, and when you buy your Instant Pot you can just order it along side. I know, because I actually went onto Amazon and it said frequently bought together, you know how it pops up at the bottom. It says people bought an Instant Pot and they bought Melissa Clark's book and then they bought 4 other Melissa Clark books because she has like a hundred of them. [LAUGH] But not about the Instant Pot, but about other things. So before we get started with pimento mac and cheese, just tell us About the book and tell us what got you started with Instant Pot. As I was saying earlier, but if you missed it, I was curious about wha the Instant Pot phenomena was. I'm a reporter for the times and I had an assignment to find out why people were in love with their Instant Pot. So I bought one and, really, I put it through every single test. I made Pretty much everything you can think of to make in it, and somethings it does better than traditional methods. It's fantastic for braising meat, it is fabulous for making beans, hard root vegetables you know beets how you put them in the oven and they just never cook, 15 minutes in the Instapot and so what it does it does really really well There are some things it doesn't do. [LAUGH] Do not try to get crispy in there, it's not gonna get crispy. And I wrote it all down in the book. And see those ribs on the cover. My god, sticky ribs, sticky [UNKNOWN] ribs, 22 minutes. My gosh. I, Set at four hours. Yeah, because you usually have to do them really low and slow but because this combines pressure along with heat you get a very even cooking and you get a very fast cooking so it's brilliant and you can just like slow cook I would say It's like a slow cooker, except it's fast. [LAUGH] You just plug it in and you walk away and it does its thing. So Melissa said it was brilliant, but because she's on [UNKNOWN] side I'm gonna say it's genius. It's genius. It's mad genius. Okay. So we're gonna make this pimento mac and cheese and first thing I want you to do- Yes? Is Okay, one thing, one problem with the instant pot is because it heats from the bottom. Sometimes, it can burn. Okay. So, we're gonna brush it with butter to keep that from happening. Great. So. So, what is one tablespoon of butter and then just brush it. Can I just throw it in there? You throw it and then just brush it about half way at the pot. Okay. Not even like a third way of the pot. Okay. And i've got some garlic here. So, what's so great about cooking your pasta When you make mac and cheese normally you boil your pasta and then you mix it with the sauce, right? Right. We're gonna cook it in the sauce, so it's gonna get incredibly flavorful. A lot more flavorful than cooking it in water. Which is why I feel like that's one of the many things that makes this recipe really genius. So I've got a garlic clove, cuz garlic. I put garlic in everything. If you don't like garlic in your mac and cheese, leave it out. But it really adds a lot A little bit of cayenne.>>Okay.>> I am just putting this in the blender and here do you want. Well we have a chopped one but we chopped a jalepeno. We did the mies in plas.>> I can chop one for you.>>Here you want to do it. Okay.>> We'll see if I can get it done in time, before you need it.>> Otherwise we have a backup right here.>> Okay. Do you seed your jalepeno? Okay this is what I do, I kind of I smell it Okay to see how hot it is Ohh that's a really Cause you can kind of like, if prickles your nose, if you smell it and goes ahh! You gotta- The smell is so sweet. Yeah so then you can leave the seeds in, because it's not going to be that hot. I like literally,this is like blowing my mind becsuse I don't know, I always put my finger on it and lick it. Sometimes I just actually lick it. [LAUGH] This is so genius I never thought about this thing My God. Yeah, it's good, right? That is crazy. It literally smells sweet. It smells like a bell pepper. Right, exactly. So you know it's not going to be that- My God. You might take out some of the seeds, just cuz it gets texturally a litlte wonky. Yeah. But you don't have to worry. If that was really hot, you'd want to really get the seeds and the veins out. Right. Okay. Mustard powder. I'm going back to my blender. Mustard powder A little- Which I love. Yeah, mustard powder just gives it a different kinda kick. A little bit more butter, cuz why not? Butter's good. And then here's the thing, cream cheese. Cream cheese makes mac and cheese super creamy, so- This is a huge jalapeno. And milk. I'm just going to blend this whole thing together, and this is the sauce that we're going to cook the noodles in. And a little bit of heavy cream. If the heavy cream freaks you out, just use more milk. I love richness, I love- But it doesn't look like you're putting too much. No, it's just a little, and what it does is it just adds a little bit of roundness and richness, but it's not, strictly, necessary. Okay, we're gonna- [BLANK_AUDIO] So you do not put the jalapeno into the blender? No, you just throw it in the pot. Okay. I'm gonna turn this on, loud noise, sorry. I was always taught in video, don't talk over a blender. But because we're live I don't care! [LAUGH] And we're gonna talk over the blender. This is the biggest jalapeno I've literally ever chopped. That is a huge jalapeno. So I'm gonna let you decide how much we have. We're gonna just use all of it. Okay. Cuz we're gonna live dangerously. Okay so you have that all buttered? Yep, this is all buttered, I got it ready for you. I'm gonna show everybody how beautiful that is. That is beautiful, thank you. Beautifully buttered. Let's put this in first. Okay, so we're gonna add that in here, okay. So this is just So this is our sauce. Whoop, I got a little milk on my face. I'm sorry. [LAUGH] I splashed you. Sorry, sorry. It's all right. No problem. By the way. No problem, we have our paper towel. Aha, perfect proportioned paper towel. Yeah. [LAUGH] Okay, I'm throwing this in. Okay. And when I developed the recipe, first thing I did was to put the jalapeno in after this came out. I didn't cook it with it. Uh-huh. I thought I wanted the crunch. But then it turns out I didn't. It was too crunchy. I wanted it to be cooked a little bit, and it infused the sauce with more flavor. [UNKNOWN] Now we have our noodles. So just macaroni, I've also done this by the way, if you don't have macaroni, I had butterflies for [UNKNOWN] Yeah, for [UNKNOWN] And it works exactly the same. So you can use other shapes if you're out of macaroni, but classic. I tend to like a classic elbow. I like a classic too I'm just gonna give this a stir. [BLANK_AUDIO] Now you wanna stir it but you don't wanna mess up the butter on the bottom. Okay, the brushed butter. The brushed butter, so just give it like a gentle stir, and then you seal the top. Come on. And you, all right, this is very important. So you see this little knob here? Yeah. This is the venting knob and the sealing knob. If it's not, see it says venting and it says sealing. If it is not in the right place, instead of pressurizing, it'll just vent it. So it'll cook it, but only halfway, and you won't get the pressure. So you wanna- This is a newbie mistake that I have made. Everybody makes this mistake, they for get to put it, they'll leave the knob like this, and they'll wonder, why is my chicken only halfway cooked? And it's because, I'm telling you now, don't do that when you start playing with that. Make sure it is sealed. Good to know, Mad Genius set, make sure you set. Yeah, no it's like a little thing that everyone. I did the same thing when I first got it. Okay, and thenyou set it to, so we want to set it to. [BLANK_AUDIO] Is this plugged in? I think it is plugged in. Is it on? You can turn it if you need to turn it. It is not- Is it not working? It's not working. Okay, well let's just pretend that we set it to six minutes. [LAUGH] Six minutes on high pressure, so and then it goes beep. Okay, let's show it. Okay, we're gonna check our plug but can you show us like what you would do? Yeah, you would just, you go pressure cook, and then it would give you a number, and you would just click it up to six minutes. Okay. I flick it down, and then it would go on and it will have a little on and it'll just be lit up in blue. And it's very pretty. And enough about that, let's go to the one that we have already cooked. Okay, just sometimes I see you, it's on manual. You set it, you set and you set it for six minutes. So does it takes six minutes or does it have to [UNKNOWN] from the pressure first? Okay, wait, this is another thing. When you're using the Instant Pot It always takes a certain amount of time to reach pressure. So this takes about ten minutes. So it's 6 minutes cooking, but 10 minutes of reaching pressure. So it's a 16 minute thing. But you don't have to sit here. When you're cooking on the stove you have to mind it. This you plug in, you walk away. You E-mail someone. You help your kid with your homework. It frees you up. Which is- I mean, especially on a weeknight 15 minutes is like valuable time- Yes, my god, 15 minutes, I can do so much in 15 minutes on a week night. Okay, so I'm going to switch with you because I want you to show us. Okay. So this is- So you notice that we didn't put the cheese in yet or the pimento and that's because we It will get stringy if you cook it in there, so we're just gonna add it now. Okay. So you can see this is ready. We're gonna vent it. [SOUND] Okay. So it's released itself a little bit. Sometimes it goes [SOUND]. Yeah, so we actually set this right before we went live. So it's been sitting for about 20 minutes. Okay, and then we're just gonna wait. Now, you know that this is done venting when this little button over here is gonna [SOUND] fall down. So, when this button is raised, it is actually a safety measure. There it goes. Yeah, see it prevents you from opening. Okay. And when it drops down- There was a little button on top. Ooohh. And then here it is. Doesn't it smell good? Here's your spoon. We got- Or do you want a bigger spoon, like a wooden spoon? Wooden spoon. I didn't even see that. Okay, so this looks Okay, so we're gonna add the cheese. All righty. [BLANK_AUDIO] And we're gonna add the pimento, and the heat of the pasta's gonna cook it. And you said, you told me before that it's always nice to have a little bit of milk on hand in case. Yeah, because this looks kind of thick. Sometimes if you let it sit like a few minutes extra it'll thicken up. Yeah. So Add a little bit of milk and we're going to stir it until the cheese melts. And you never know, so different pastor browns cook at different rates, to see that you get this and you taste it, it's like this is a little crunchy, all you would do is take this, you put it on top, don't seal it. Just hang out And then, the residual heat and the steam will continue to cook it, so never worry about it being a little too crunchy. Right. It'll soften up. I know we have some towels here. Are you comfortable if I lift it up just for a second, to show people all the melty cheese? Yeah, can people see? I'm just gonna show the camera really quick, so they can get it. Yeah, yeah. Go for it. And then, we're gonna put it back cuz I think Melissa wants to get it. Do you see that, how it's getting super melty? She's literally stirring the cheese, it's sliding down the pan, look at that. It's super super creamy. I'm gonna put it back, let her finish, just for all of you. I think we're done, I think we're finished. We can eat this now. It looks like it's ready to eat. Yeah, we're done. So easy, right? Easy, after work, super simple feed your kids. By the way, if you wanna make regular mac and cheese I have a recipe in my book for regular mac and cheese that doesn't use pimentos. And it's possibly more child friendly, depending on your kid. [LAUGH] My kid- Right, because some kids probably don't like the pepper. Some kids don't like the peppers especially there's jalape��o in there too, so. Right. So you can definitely like, so this is like it seems like a very adaptable recipe as long as you leave kind of the liquid quantities the same the cheese quantities the same and all of that, you can kid of customize it right. Absolutely, you know what I did for, so I have a new book that I'm working on which is called Instant Comfort. Yes. Comfort in an instant, and I did mushroom mac and cheese with [INAUDIBLE] So good. Yum, yum, like that's kind of that's a really adult thing. That's like, yeah, that's a grown up version. Look at how cheesy this is! Yeah. I can't believe how quick this was! Okay. Can we eat it? Let's try it. Okay. [LAUGH] Wait it might need salt and pepper. Here I'll taste it first and let you know. Okay, I'm sure it's gonna need salt. Maybe a little salt. Yeah no, sorry, I forgot to salt it. So you stir in your [UNKNOWN] and then you season it, right? Yeah, you'd put your salt and peppe in here. This is so good. Mm-hm, right? Mm-hm, it's like the perfect mac and cheese. And it's the the whole [CROSSTALK] In 15 work-free minutes. And the whole time, just a little bit but not too much. Not too much, it's so good. My goodness, this is so delicious. Don't forget, we want you to be engaged with in tuning in. Is this weird? [LAUGH] That is not weird at all. That's not weird, right? This is a double pimento cheese fantasy wrong right now. I'm gonna do both. My God, yes, both! Here, I'll give you a little. Yeah. This is crazy town right here, this is genius. This is really good. Let me grab your [UNKNOWN]. Okay. Do this at home, people, do this at home. Melissa Clark from The New York Times is here on Mad Genius Live, talking about her new book, Dinner in an Instant. She just made, I think it's one of my new favorite mac and cheese recipes, pimento mac and cheese. We also made a classic mac and cheese, and a riff on a classic called poblano pimento cheese Mac and pablano- Pimento cheese. Pimento cheese. [LAUGHTER] And, I'm so thrilled that you came on. You're actually my very first guest on the show. Yay, well thank you for having me. And, you're my favorite guest, too. And I'm gonna call it that. Well, I'm your only guest, so I have to be your favorite. Because- [LAUGHTER] You're literally one of my idols. Thank you, so much. We're gonna keep eating this- Don't forget to tune into Mad Genius Live next week. Don't forget to continue to send comments and questions, because we're going to get to them, even though we're not live, after the show, using the #madgeniuslive. And tune in next week at 11 AM Eastern time on Thursday. Thank you Melissa. Thanks for having me. [MUSIC]