There is a wonderful vegan restaurant in Seattle called Plum Bistro. Not only is the food inventive and delicious, the space is lovely and it’s in a fun area. Plum is the creation of Makini Howell, and it is probably best known for her “Spicy Mac and Yease,” a decadent, transcendent bowl of yumminess.
When Makini Howell released a cookbook earlier this year, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro, I grabbed it, figuring the purchase would be worth it for the Mac and Yease recipe alone. You can imagine my surprise when that Mac and Yease recipe was nowhere to be found. Howell is keeping that particular secret to herself. However, she did offer a consolation prize by including “Plum’s Smoky Mac,” which I decided to try.
I have a lot of favorite mac & cheese recipes, with the one in heaviest rotation probably the “Mac & Chard” from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson. It’s delish, it’s easy, it’s even got some greens in it, and Queenie asks for it by name. Plum’s Smoky Mac hasn’t dethroned the old fave, but it has certainly moved into the court.
This recipe is more labor intensive than most of the macs in my repertoire. For instance, you’ve got to make a Savory Soy Cream as a component of the sauce. Steps within steps. Is it worth it? If you’ve got some time, don’t mind messing up your kitchen with a bunch of dishes and are in the mood for something ultra savory and decadent, then go for it! What you end up with will have a crunchy top and look something like this: