Friday, November 7, 2014

Macarroni n cheese

Macarroni and cheese
One of the first American things that I taught myself to cook (on a "cold" 25 C Doha winter evening :P ) was mac&cheese. I think we all crave hearty comfort food (with a bit of a crunch/texture!) when the weather gets colder.. and knowing that 'cream-based sauces' are preferred at home, I gave this winner a try! It has evensince become a staple in my house :)
This is a really fast recipe is nice and creamy/moist (but not overwhelmingly heavy).
You can prepare this in provably 15-20 min if you don't intend to gratinate cheese & breadcrumbs on top.. (Gratinating takes about 15 min on its own,, but it is well worth the texture!!)
So here we go!

- 75 gr Butter
- 75 gr Flour
- 1/3 tsp Salt
- 1/3 tsp Black pepper
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic granules
- 0.75 cube Chicken stock (Maggi cubes)
- 600 gr Heavy cream (or light cream - depending how dense & heavy you want the sauce)
- 350 gr Very sharp Cheddar cheese (grated)

**Before you start I must say the "very sharp" for the cheddat cheese is what I suggest if you want to avoid the taste of boxed/artifical mac & cheese. The sharpness gives it a nice geniune flavour. (You will find sharp is a more dry looking cheese.)**

Place the macarroni to cook in a large pot. Once done, strain them and run through them cold water to stop cooking (to mushy).

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat (4/6). Once melted, add the flour and mix together; keep stirring until butter looks golden color.

Add in all spices, and the heavy cream gradually; mix well (still over the medium heat) with a silicone-coated whisk (so you dont scratch your pan! :) ). Keep stirring constantly, making sure there are no lumps, until the mixture has thickened (~10 min).

Then remove from the heat, and whisk/mix in all the grated cheese, until well melted & combined.
(If you are having trouble with the cheese not melting, stirr it for 10 seconds over the heat until it does completly melt).
Mixed mac n cheese
In the large pan mix the macarroni and sauce together (straight after you finish preparing the sauce; so still warm). Then place into the desired pans.

**At this stage, the mac and cheese can refridgerate for a couple of days; or freeze for later use.**

- If you want to gratinate the top:

Sprinkle the top with cheddar/emmental cheese (or even parmesan), as well as some breadcrumb powder (this will be making it crunchy!).

Pre-heat the oven (top heat) at 240 C, then place the pan on the highest/er rack and let gratinate.
Keep an eye on it!

Ready for the oven (large or individual portions)

Serve hot! :)

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