The perfect street food should be physically manageable and creatively out of control. John T. Edge surveys a panoply of such harnessed mayhem in The Truck Food Cookbook (Workman, May), with this being one standout that, after consumption, is likely to result in a lie down. Not only is the recipe “about adding cheese to cheese in an act of righteous excess,” as Edge points out, but it is also a study in piling carbs upon carbs in a way not seen since the advent of pizza topped with baked ziti. Falling prey to Kraft’s new ad campaign, I purchased a box of their magical mix for the first time in years. And, in for a penny in for a pound, I paired it with Wonder Bread. The cheese slices held things together nicely and the orange and brown hues played well together, as did the slight crunch of the bread against the soft, smooth noodles. The flavor, such as it was, brought forth a dual wave of nostalgia for third grade lunches and my old college hot pot.
Grilled Cheese Mac and Cheese Sandwich from The Truck Food Cookbook
Makes 2 sandwiches
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 slices white bread or Texas toast (see Note), toasted
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup macaroni and cheese (use your favorite recipe or, God help you, crack open a box)
1. Heat the oil on a griddle or in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
2. Top all the slices of Texas toast with a slice of cheese. Spoon 1/2cup macaroni and cheese
onto 2 of the slices of bread and top each with one of the remaining 2 slices, cheese side down. Place the sandwiches on the griddle and let cook until the bread is nicely toasted, 2 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches and cook on the second side until the macaroni and cheese is warmed through and the Texas toast is golden, 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat if the toast is browning too quickly. To serve, cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal.
Note: Texas toast is just white bread cut in double-thick slices. It’s great for toasting.