First week at Momofuku is a roaring success. And despite the shaky legs I stood on today, manning the breads station by myself for the first time, everything still got done. The rhythm of the kitchen makes sense to me, to my hands, my dough-encrusted fingers. I arrive at 8:30 am and pull out the bagel doughs for the day to allow them to defrost. I whip together another batch of dough, scrawling the time on the plastic wrap with my trusted Sharpie, allowing it to proof for thirty minutes. I mise out my savory fillings, crack sixty eggs, bake two large potato gratins, paint egg washes. I love the smell of the bakery kitchen, the quiet hum of the ovens lining the back wall, the steady ache in my thighs that reminds me that I am doing, I am moving, I am creating.
When I come home, I crave comfort food. That's why we're making macaroni salad today, that time-honored side frequently seen at barbecues and in grocery store delis. It pairs well with the 75 degree weather outside, cold and refreshing, aching for a light pilsner or lemonade and a plate of ribs to go alongside (or, if you're me, you first encountered macaroni salad as a part of a Hawaiian plate lunch and you will pair it with chicken and rice).
I like this particular preparation of macaroni salad because of the gentle vinegary-ness and the quiet heat of the jalapeños. I, despite being a baker, like my sugar in my desserts and not my sides, so this recipe leaves out the oft-called for sugar or condensed milk. If you're looking for a grown-up macaroni salad, with heat and acid, crunchy celery and carrots, the bite of raw onion - then this is where I'll leave you.
1.5 cups dried macaroni
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup sweet relish
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, diced
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
Salt & black pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until just tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta to a large bowl. Add onion, carrot, celery, olives, peppers, and jalapeno. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Worcestershire, vinegar, horseradish, dijon, and sweet relish. Mix until thoroughly combined, adding pasta water until it forms a thick, pourable sauce. Toss with pasta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to use.