My husband bought these habanero peppers at Wild By Nature because they looked good. It turns out habaneros are the spiciest pepper there is.
I brought some up to Woodstock last week and we made a hot cashew cream dipping sauce for my friend Bart’s amazing roasted potatoes. But what to do with the rest? I was inspired to make this hot mac ‘n cheese after taking a cooking class with the genius behind The Cinnamon Snail food truck. Vegan, organic and wildly delcious. Adam Sobel taught us how to make a jalapeño mac ‘n cheese which was mildly spicy and quite good.
My recipe is not even a close rendition of Adam’s technique or recipe. I have to say that for legal purposes! But to be fair, the umeboshi vinegar from Adam’s recipe made it into this sauce. It is my new favorite vinegar and it will definitely be making its way into dressings and sauces in the future.
Just like with jalapeños, the oil from the habaneros gets onto your skin when you cut them. My fingers were burning for two days last weekend after making the hot cashew cream sauce. What to do? Disposable gloves. Today,my fingers are feeling groovy.
1 lb gluten free macaronis *
Habanero Hot Mac ‘n Cheese Sauce (makes about 4 cups) **
2 1/2 cups cashews
2 1/2 cups water
2 habanero peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
1/4 cup umeboshi plum vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
* I like Andean Dream macaronis because they remind me of the old Kraft macaronis from the blue box.
** Save the rest of the cheese sauce in a container in the refrigerator and make this dish again soon! You don’t even have to bake it like I do here; you can just heat up the sauce and mix with the cooked macaronis.
Chop the onion, habaneros (discard the ribs and seeds) and garlic and sauté in a pan until soft. I water sauté. You can use oil if you prefer.
Place the cashews and water into the Vitamix. Add the cooked onion mixture, nooch, vinegar and tomato paste and let it rip until it is super smooth.