26 August 2012

Macaroni Cheese

Tonight was a lazy night.  I wanted macaroni cheese for some reason (perhaps because I almost had it for lunch the other day but ended up having sushi...thus my craving was left unsatisfied haha).  

I had never made it before, and I googled a recipe.  Generally when I do this, I open 3 or 4 of the top recipes that come up, pick one, then see what different ingredients the others include, and then put that in the recipe I've chosen as well.  If that makes sense.  So, for example, in this one, the original recipe did not call for salt or paprika, but I added both, since they were in fact common in the other mac and cheese recipes I opened.

I also didn't follow the instructions exactly (to my own detriment... I will explain in my evaluation!), trying to do a Rachael Ray and add "starchy cooking water" from the pasta to the sauce to make the sauce and pasta "marry" as Rachael says.  I shall tell you what happened after the recipe.  :)

500g macaroni
50g butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (250g) grated cheese
1/2 tsp salt

  • Put macaroni on to cook as per packet instructions
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan
  • Cook, stirring, for 1 minute over medium-low heat
  • Stir in flour, cooking until it has thickened a bit
  • Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth
  • Stir until mix comes to a boil
  • Reduce heat
  • Add salt, and a pinch of paprika and parsley (to taste!)
  • Stir well
  • Simmer for 2 min
  • Add cheese slowly, stirring continuously over a low heat
  • Turn off heat, and either mix drained pasta thru sauce, or sauce all over drained pasta (whichever dish is big enough!)

So yes, my minor indiscretion was the addition of "starchy cooking water".  Note to self, this makes the sauce go all granulated, gritty and curdled (as Mum said).  I will NOT be doing that in future haha!

Other than the funny texture, it was actually really delicious.  I can imagine it would be better with bacon (or ham) chopped up in it, and some fresh peas... but hey, I like my meals colourful, and I've never understood the whole mac and cheese thing - it seems too plain to me haha!  But I did like this, and will make it again!  So easy and quick! 

Recipe Inspiration: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/13955/classic+macaroni+cheese

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