Sunday, 21 August 2011

Old favourites... Part 1 - Macaroni cheese


Today I made one of the kids favourites - mac cheese, not the yucky processed type but the really nice and gooey home made kind. Since they like a crunchy crust on top I put it in the oven after making it but it's also possible to just dig in straight away and skip the long wait before you can sink your teeth in *wink* This may seem complicated but both my kids (8 and 10 at the time of writing this) can make the cheese sauce alone so if they can do it so can you!

Ingredients (all rough estimates as I do this by eye)
  • 25 gr / 1 oz butter or margarine
  • 1/2 Table spoon of flour
  • 1/2 litre / 1 pint of milk
  • 100 grams 4 oz mature cheese - cheddar works - I use Gouda cos that's what I can get.
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • Pasta (any pasta will do - even spaghetti)  - enough for about 3 people.
How to make:
  1. bring the water for the pasta to the boil and cook as per the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile in a small 1 litre/ 2 pint  pan melt the butter on a medium high heat - keep the heat at this level while you do the rest.
  3. Add the flour and stir, letting it bubble a little but not brown.
  4. Pour in a slosh of milk while still stirring
  5. When it's thick add more milk - about 1/4 of what you have left - Don't stop stirring!
  6. When it's thick add more milk - about 1/3 of what you have left - stir like your life depends on it *wink*
  7. When it's thick add more milk - about 1/2 of what you have left - and yes.. keep stirring.
  8. When it's thick add all the you have left and stir till thick.
  9. Turn the heat down low.
  10. Add the pepper and mustard and stir.
  11. Add the cheese a bit at a time still stirring to avoid it sticking and to make sure it mixes through properly.
  12. When it's all mixed through and melted turn the heat off.
  13. The pasta will be about ready now.
  14. Drain the pasta and putit back in the pan.
  15. Mix the cheese sauce through the pasta and you are done.
Optional: put the pasta in an oven dish and sprinkle with some more cheese and if you have it a small amount of breadcrumbs will make for a nice crunchy topping (not shown on my pic - I'd run out of breadcrumbs) and put in the oven on a high heat for 15 - 20 minutes.

You can make this in advance if you like but if you leave it for more than a day you should add a slosh of milk to the dish to avoid the pasta drying out.

Enjoy!

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