Hello everyone and welcome to another brand new episode of Nikoli's Kitchen! I'm thrilled to be coming back this week with a brand new Table for Two featuring the absolutely incredible Em of Verbal Diorama, a show that's all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Em is here to talk all about all things Mac & Cheese, the ultimate in comfort food. It was such a thrill to have her on the show to talk about her memories of her mom making mac & cheese and to share her love of all things film. She is truly a joy and you need to do yourself a favor and subscribe to her show anywhere you listen to podcasts.

You can follow Em on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and check out more about her show- and sign up for her newsletter- at https://www.verbaldiorama.com/. Em, you were an absolute treat to share the mic with. Thank you for coming on the show, and thank you so much to everyone out there for listening. You are amazing, and I hope you are having a wonderful day, week, month, and year. Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me.

Em and I talked for about 90 minutes total for this episode and you can hear the uncut version of this episode- with at-length discussions about where Keanu should be put into the MCU, her memories of watching movies with her grandparents, and more- on patreon! Sign up today for this and other great bonus content today!


Featured Recipes for this Episode

4 T unsalted Butter (1 stick)
4 T flour
2-12 oz cans evaporated milk (whole milk)
1/2 large onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T brown sugar
salt to taste
1 T cracked black pepper
1 T turmeric
1 t paprika
1/2 t allspice
olive oil
16 oz freshly-shredded or cubed cheddar cheese
1 lb of small shells
1/2 c crushed potato chips (your choice)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°.
Add olive oil to a large stockpot or dutch oven at mid heat.
Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt to begin sweating them down. Once they start to get translucent, add your brown sugar.
Reduce the heat to low and cover. Saute the onions for 15-20 minutes until they are nicely browned and softened.
Remove the cover and add your garlic, cooking for just a minute until perfumed. 
Add your flour and cook together for a minute, stirring together until a paste forms. Keep stirring and cook this for a minute to cook out the flour.
Add your paprika, turmeric, and black pepper and stir until combined. 
Add the evaporated milk and stir until combined. Return the heat to medium and continue cooking until it forms a thick roux.
Remove from the heat and add your cheese and butter, stirring to combine. Add back to the heat intermittently if necessary to melt the cheese, but the roux should be hot enough to melt it eventually. 

Boil your pasta in well-salted water, leaving it a little less than al dente so it can finish in the sauce in the oven.
When soft, strain the pasta and return to your pot. Add the cheese sauce mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon the mac & cheese out into a 9x13 baking dish or into individual serving dishes (I have 12 oz. cocottes). 
Top with your crushed potato chips & mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
Serve immediately!

Yield: 8 cups.
Calories per serving: 729 per 1 cup without the chips (amount with the chips will vary depending on the type of chip).


Em's Original "Recipe" for mac & cheese:

Boil the pasta, drain (boil it for a few mins less than on the packet)
Make the cheese sauce by combining butter and flour, then whisking in whole milk and seasoning with salt & pepper
Cook the sauce until it’s nice and thick.
Add in cheese (I usually use cheddar) and a little paprika, stir well.
Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta.
Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with more cheddar, add mozzarella and some crushed ready salted crisps (aka chips!) but make sure the crisps are on top to make it extra crunchy!
Bake for 30 mins or so til cheese is bubbly


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Guest Appearances

I was honored to sit down with Ashlee of the Rabbit Ears TV Podcast again to talk about all things Big Little Lies! Check it out at https://www.netflixnswill.com/rabbitears/2021/8/31/big-little-lies.

I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Em of Verbal Diorama to talk about Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy and we had a blast. Please tune in at https://www.verbaldiorama.com/episode/anchorman-the-legend-of-ron-burgundy!



Intro "Midnight in Carmel" by Wendy Marcini. Licensed from Epidemic Sound. Check out her amazing music at https://open.spotify.com/artist/4CaTfk4pRkpA8A9gXamYg2.

Segment Break "Lots of Love, Judy" by David Celeste. Licensed from Epidemic Sound. Check out more of David's music at https://open.spotify.com/artist/14elbOcXjl043MKBKQuGPS.

Segment Break "Langholmen" by Gustav Lundgren. Licensed from Epidemic Sound. Check out more of his great work at https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Qb6yi78O4qlvQDB5JvZKV.

Outro "The Climb" and "Daybreak" from Music for Makers. Sign up and get a royalty-free song delivered to your inbox every Monday at www.musicformakers.com!

Other music in this episode licensed from Epidemic Sound. Learn more and sign up for a free trial with access to thousands of songs at https://www.epidemicsound.com/.

Track Listing: 

"Good Night Waltz," "Inner Vision," and "Iroh" - Wendy Marcini
"Traces," "Calme," "Cessura," "At Dawn," "Demure," and "Dvala" - Ever So Blue

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