Sit back relax and Mac your Cheese #MacAndCheese by @amberzcorner
Posted on June 8, 2011 by amber
So as I had mentioned in my last post, I didn’t know how to cook early in my marriage. I remember our first grocery experience…it was $120 of junk food. We took so long and had so much fun shopping that by the time we got home, we were famished and starving. But all we had bought was junk food – so we ordered pizza.
But let’s get back to the ghost of my culinary past! What did we eat early in our marriage way back before I became chef extraordinaire (ego, much)? Well…we ate a lot of dried, dehydrated and sometimes frozen stuff. One of our favorite quick ready meals was Lipton butter and herb pasta sides, Betty Crocker dehydrated mashed potatoes and served with some boiled corn. If there was one thing we loved, it was our carbs.
One thing I had to contend with was that my husband and I came from two different cultures. Both of our cultures love big flavor – but one is motivated by spice and heat and the other is dominated by garlic, onions and other aromatics. Combine that with our western upbringing and fast food pallet – I had to come up with some familiar and tasty cuisine and/or comfort food. Every recipe became a mission – I felt like Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in mission impossible except if I failed my mission – my food would self destructed. Some missions took years to complete. One of those recipes was my version of Mac and Cheese. That one took over 7 years in the making. Check it out and try it out…I promise you that your family and friends will thank you for making it!
Amber’s Macadosciousness & cheese (over 7 years to perfect)
- 600 gram bag of short pasta boiled el dente
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 3 tbsp of flour
- 3 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of 35% cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated cheddar
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- boil the short pasta till its el dente
- strain and pour into a 9X13 glass or ceramic dish
- in a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour to it
- Cook the flour in the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon and remove all lumps
- Once the flour is incorporated, add the milk, cream, salt and pepper, and continue stirring gently
- Once the sauce has thickened to a thick creamy consistency (by the way you just made béchamel sauce)- take it off the heat and pour over the pasta that was placed in the ceramic dish in step 2
- Next sprinkle or spread the cheddar cheese over the pasta
- Followed by sprinkling the bread crumbs on top
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees, for 20-30 minutes or till the casserole looks golden brown
If you really want shake things up: add your favorite steamed veggies in the casserole with the pasta – veggies like broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus. My family also loves when I add pre-cooked ground beef in there. You would add these additional ingredients to the pasta prior to adding and mixing in the béchamel sauce.
Once again I hope you enjoyed my story and please continue to share your comments and feedback with me. Also if you have any suggestions or culinary experiments you want me to try out for you…please – just ask!
In the tradition of sharing – you’re always welcome to my kitchen!
Amber – @amberzcorner