Saturday, January 28, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn't love Mac 'n' Cheese? It's the ultimate comfort food. Once you have your basic recipe, there are a million ways to jazz it up if. Throw in veggies, leftover meat, whatever you like...

The basic recipe is simple to remember, 2 of everything. 2 cups macaroni and, for the sauce, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 cups milk and 2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

You can top the macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs and bake it until the breadcrumb topping is golden. Or you could sprinkle crushed potato chips on it before serving...

This velvety cheese sauce has a mellow hint of garlic and the mushrooms add some flavour and texture.

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 cups fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced (or 1 cup canned mushrooms, thinly sliced)
2 cups + 1 cup full-cream milk
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 oz (2 tablespoons butter)
2 level tablespoons flour
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

  1. Cook the macaroni in boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly smash the garlic cloves and add to a saucepan with 2 cups milk. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, or until it has reduced by half.
  3. Strain the milk into a jug and add the additional 1 cup milk, so that you have a total of about 2 cups of milk. Do not discard the garlic, mash it with a fork and set aside.
  4. In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of oil and saute the mushrooms until golden brown. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  5. Add the butter to the same pot. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Then add the mashed garlic and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. When the cheese has melted, mix in the sauteed mushrooms and macaroni.
  8. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve.

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