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Poppa’s Mackin’ Cheese

14 Oct

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegetable Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Milk
  • 1 cup of grated Cheese (or more to taste)
Method
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil (so it’s bubbling). I use the saucepan like part of a vegetable steamer – it holds more and I use the steamer part to strain the macaroni after.
Once boiling, add the whole packet of macaroni and reduce temperature to simmer until cooked. I just throw a couple of macaoni elbows in the strainer, let them cool a second and taste them to see if they’re ready. Here’s a picture of them cooking…

Once the macaroni has finished cooking, tip it into a strainer and set to drain. While the macaroni is cooking, I assemble all the ingredients and get them ready to do the sauce bit. The cooks (and burns) very quickly, so it’s good to be prepared.

From left to right: I use skim milk as it has a lower fat content and doesn’t matter for cooking. I use Masterfoods Onion Salt, it’s just a little tastier than normal salt. I also use Vegata vegetable stock – this stuff is brilliant! In the middle you can see where I have mixed the salt, stock and flour together to prepare for the sauce cooking. You can see on the right, I use Nuttelex. It’s non-gluten, non-dairy, low fat and still tastes like butter! he only other ingredient I haven’t shown here is cheese – I use reduced fat cheese as well – it just makes it less greasy.

To start cooking the sauce, place the butter into the saucepan with it on a medium temperature. This part of the recipe is actually making white sauce. If you add the cheese, it makes cheese sauce. You can use the same recipe to just use as a sauce!

As soon as the butter has melted, throw in the dry ingredients and stir until mixed. I tried to get a photo of this, but you really have to give the sauce making you whole attention or it burns really quickly, so I couldn’t 😦

Once mixed, pour a third of the milk into the saucepan and stir until all is mixed in. When it boils, add the rest of the milk and stir until boiling. The idea behind putting part of the milk in first is that it mixes better and gives a better result. I’ve found that the bigger the saucepan, the more you can pour in at once.

Once it starts to boil, add the cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted. If you don’t add the cheese, you have an awesome white sauce. Add as much cheese as you want, also experient with different types of cheese. I like tasty and parmisan together in the mix.

Once all the cheese has melted, add the drained macaroni to the saucepan and stir to ensure the sauce covers all of the macaroni. This is why I use the steamer. Make sure you have a large saucepan, or else this gets messy. Also, keep the heat on, ut low so the pasta can heat up again if it cooled down too much.

Serve. 🙂 This makes HEAPS it probably makes enough for about 10 people as a side dish, or 4 big blokes for a main.

Variants

You can add a sprinkling of garnish (a bit of grated cheese and a smattering of parsley) and serve as it is, or there are some interesting variants you can make:

  • Add diced cooked bacon. This is ridiculously yummy, but not heaps healthy.
  • Add diced cooked bacon and onion. Add this one and the above during the stirring phase
  • Fill small or medium ramekins with the mackin’ cheese and top with a layer of grated cheese and a sprinkle of parmison. Pop them in the oven long enough to go brown and serve in the ramekin.
This meal will keep in the fridge for a couple of days without a problem. It also seems to retain it’s heat, so be careful when first eating it as it will be hot! Also, I aven’t tried freezing it, so not how that would work out.
 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Recipes

 

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