It's 2017, and Thanksgiving recipes are at an all-time low. Nothing is sacred. And like politics and personal inquiries into your dating life from distant family members -- it's going to be harder than ever to avoid "Thanksgiving-adjacent" dishes.
The New York Times re-ran a 2014 recipe for Brussels sprouts sliders and the reception was a resounding "Absolutely not." And now, it seems, the Food Network is participating in a an epic, self-inflicted, one-upmanship showdown, which has now befouled a sacred American dish: mac and cheese.
Food Network's "Ultimate Mac and Cheese" recipe video, below, starts off innocently, but sinister undertones await. Host Katie Lee, whisks up a standard roux, a melted butter cream sauce, throwing in a "little zing" of dijon mustard that elicits a superfluous "Oooh!" from fellow guest chefs, and finally plunging a pyramid of gruyere and cheddar cheese into the mixture.
Cavatappi pasta is added and almost as quickly as the dish looks delicious and ready-to-eat, a misinformed Nancy Fuller dumps a sheet pan's worth of roasted Brussels sprouts and winter squash, ruining an otherwise perfect mac and cheese by katie lee.
Pan and zoom to restaurateur and judge on Food Network's "Chopped," Geoffrey Zakarian, looking mighty displeased by Fuller's choice of mac and cheese additions. For a few split seconds, you can observe a brimming uneasiness twiddle through his fingers. A "woke" Zakarian looks like he's just about had it with this disloyal Thanksgiving recipe. He gets it; you just don't add vegetables to mac and cheese.
And guest chef Jeff Mauro adds insult to injury by throwing dried cornbread stuffing into the dish for that extra "crunchy top" that no one asked for. Eater called it "a cafeteria potato salad that's going through a rough divorce."
Facebook users were colorful in their commentary, suggesting the "Ultimate Mac and Cheese" dish to "anyone who hates their family but can't get out of attending Thanksgiving dinner," wrote Bunny Murphy. "Just bring a pan of this and I guarantee they'll never speak to you again. Problem solved." Thanksgiving, which arrives Nov. 24, is over. You can all go home now.