Monday, June 18, 2012

Baked Homestyle Mac n' Cheese. Could this BE any easier?




I find myself worrying a lot when I have to cook for a crowd. I mean a small crowd of 4-5 people. As much as I love feeding people I also like to take the quick way out and not punish my body by spending an entire day in the kitchen. If it's quick, could be planned ahead and gives me a lot of free time while it cooks, I am in love with such recipes already. Add to it when they are fancy as well as served homestyle, everyone is a winner.

I made this Homestyle Mac n' Cheese over a year ago for a house party for my brother's friends, and I had to remake it thanks to people asking me for the recipe and saying they still remember how it tasted. The beautiful garlicky bread crust on top adds a new dimension altogether to the ever so awesome classic. I tweaked the recipe a bit to incorporate less cheese (if it cuts down calories without compromising the taste, why not?) and added a good dash of Nutmeg. Hope you guys like it!

Homestyle Mac n' Cheese
Serves 5
Recipe : Various + Self

Ingredients:

300 gm Macaroni elbows (I used Semolina Macaroni)
1 cup Milk
1/4 Cup Butter (I used Ghee)
3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Nutmeg Powder
2 tbsp Pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup of Water in which the Macaroni was cooked
1.5 cups Loosely packed shredded Cheddar Cheese.

For the crust:

5 slices of stale bread. Crumbed
A handful of Coriander/Cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbsp Butter/Ghee at room temperature
A pinch of Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
6 cloves of Garlic, minced.


Method:

Cook the Macaroni elbows as per package instructions until al dente. They should be almost cooked.



Drain them in a colander but be sure to reserve a cup of Pasta Water. Just in case.



In a deep pan, heat up the Butter until its bubbling up. (I used Ghee so no bubbles for me)



Add in the Flour and stir to make a Roux. It would look frothy and bubbly.



Add in Milk and stir well. You can feel the mixture thicken up.



Add in Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg Powder. Stir to incorporate.



Now add the Pasta, followed by the Cheese and mix well.



If the pasta feels too dry, add in some Pasta Water. Remember we're gonna bake this so it's gonna get dryer in the oven.



Transfer this all to a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Crumb the bread slices in a Food Processor.



In a bowl, Mix together the bread crumbs with Coriander, Garlic, Salt, Sugar and Butter, with your fingertips to form a moist bread mix.



Layer this over the Mac n' Cheese on the Baking tray. Cover up as much as possible.



Let this big guy go into the oven for 15 minutes or until there is a light golden crust on top.



Remove, let it cool for 10 minutes and serve! Super yummy homestyle Mac n' Cheese is ready!


This one is a total crowd-pleaser guys!

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