Macaroni and Cheese

Owing this Mac and Cheese recipe to one of my lovely readers, Ivy, who made this request in my Discussion Board of my Facebook Fan Club months ago, I first apologise for the late posting. And here I am sharing my recipe with you (winking smile)..

This is an express and simple-making dish, excellent as side dish or main course. If I cook this as main course, I will not make it over-cheesy to taste. Milder cheesy flavour will be good as large portion will be taken to fill up the stomach for the evening (smile). However, if you wish to cook some distinctive flavours or more creamy and stronger to taste, try adding in crumbled Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue cheese and whipping cream, instead of Dutch Edam cheese and milk (these are for lighter yet flavoursome cheesy taste).

I cooked this mac and cheese as dinner this evening, for my girl who requested for it the other day. Since this was cooked as main dish, I used the later combination instead of the former ones with below details:

Ingredients
300 gram of macaroni
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (about 60 gram)
2 tablespoons of plain flour
2 cups of low-fat milk (about 500 ml) (*replace with whipping cream for more creamy taste)
200 gram of grated Cheddar cheese
100 gram of grated Dutch Edam cheese (*replace with crumbled Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue for more creamy flavour)
50 gram of grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon, adjustable)

A pot of salted water (to blanch macaroni)

Method
1) Heat a pot of water over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Cook macaroni in the boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2) Heat a large saucepan over low fire, melt butter. Stir in flour to form a roux, cook for 1 minute. If the flour added is too much to form roux, omit the 1-minute cooking time, just whisk in milk, in stages (a little at a time). Cook for 5 minutes till thickened and smooth sauce is formed. Whisk the milk solution in the saucepan constantly while cooking.

3) Add in all the cheese, continue to whisk to melt and combine well. By now, the creamy cheese sauce should be in thick and smooth consistency.

4) Return macaroni to the saucepan, and stir with small spatula to mix well with sauce. Sprinkle salt and stir well before heat off. Serve warm (May garnish with some coarsely grounded black pepper before serve).

A portion of my cheesy macaroni counts about 350kcal. Expect more loads of calorie if using whipping cream instead of low-fat milk.

This simple Mac & Cheese recipe can be considered a vegetarian meal, if the vegan is not restricted to milk products in her/ his vegetarian diet.

Extra toppings: Bacon bits, Chopped Italian herbs or Oregano herbs, Chili flakes, or sliced chicken fillet. To take a look on the photo of Mac & Cheese with extra toppings, sign in to my FaceBook fan Club now!

Tips: Both whole milk and skimmed milk (preferably low-fat) are OK to be used in this recipe.
* If do not have unsalted butter, use normal salted butter. Just adjust the adding of salt to suit your taste. Alternatively, use olive oil.
* Dutch Edam cheese tastes smooth, sweet and nutty. This distinctive and delicious cheese is good to be taken for breakfast or to pair with a glass of Pinot Noir. Remember to peel of its outer layer of red wax coating before use. I got a large wedge of Edam (200 gram) and shredded it at home. The remaining was kept for future use. Edam cheese is available at major supermakets e.g. NTUC Finest, Cold Storage, and etc.