November 30, 2011

We wouldn't have to eat Kraft dinners...

$1 million if you can name that song. And a bonus $50 if you get the joke.



 
Pinterest is my new obsession. It's a website where you can "pin" things you've found across the interwebz to pinboards that help you keep them organized. So, I've got recipes, house decor ideas, Eli party ideas, clothing I like, etc. I love the recipe board because it's one resting place for all the times that I see something somewhere and think "YUM! I want to make that!" and then immediately forget about it.

Like this recipe for one-pot mac n' cheese. Had I been without Pinterest, I would have forgotten to bookmark this deliciousness and it would have been lost forever.

This is great for a weeknight meal and it's very kid-friendly. It's simple, but I won't say it's as easy as just throwing something in the oven and playing a few rounds of patty-cake until the timer bings. This takes vigilant heat monitoring, constant stirring, and a watchful eye for about 20 minutes. Not so easy with a super mobile baby who has figured out how to climb the stairs, but such is life, right?

Oh...stairs? Challenge accepted, Mom!
I made a few changes to the recipe, mostly just adding a package of defrosted chopped spinach for some vitamins and bulk. Any other changes are noted in the recipe below. This one-pot wonder makes for a *DELIGHTFULLY* creamy mac n'cheese, and since you can use fat-free milk, it's not all that bad for you. I used sharp cheddar for this one, but I think I'll go for an even stronger cheese next time - maybe swiss?

Have fun with this, experiment with spices and different kinds of cheese. Enjoy a creamy and slightly sinful yet not terribly unhealthy pot of mac n'cheese. Round it off with some spinach or a nice salad and you'll feel victorious. At least I did!

One Pot Mac n'Cheese
adapted from White on Rice Couple

Ingredients:
2 cups large elbow Macaroni, uncooked
2 cups low fat Milk
if needed, additional 1/4 cup milk or water for final cooking (I needed this at the end)
1 tablespoon Butter (I actually forgot the butter and didn't miss it at all!)

1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder (I added much more, along with a few healthy squirts of Dijon) 1 teaspoon Salt, plus additional for final season later
generous dash of Nutmeg
1 cup Grated Cheese, any kind your heart desires!

Optional: 1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well.

Other possible add-ins: peas, broccoli, tomatoes, tuna, bacon, Old Bay, Sriacha...

Instructions:
 Place raw elbow macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let drain.
In medium sauce pan (about 3.5 qt), add milk, raw elbow macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg.

On medium heat, slowly bring milk/macaroni mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. This will separate macaroni and keep them from sticking together. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! The milk mixture will come to a boil very quickly and leaving it unattended will leave a big mess on your stove stop.

Once mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn down heat to LOW. Macaroni will slowly cook in the milk. Having your heat too high will evaporate the milk too quickly!

Continue to stir the mixture frequently so that macaroni will cook evenly and absorb milk evenly. If you don’t stir your mixture frequently, you will get a big clump of macaroni in the end! Stir, stir stir!
Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been fully absorbed. If macaroni is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water to mixture ( in small amounts) until macaroni is fully cooked. This will take about another 5 minutes.

When milk has evaporated, stir in grated cheese of your choice. Stir the cheese evenly into the macaroni. Mix in vegetables.

Turn off heat. Place lid on top of pan and cover for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk.

Take a final taste and add additional salt to taste. Before serving, stir one final time to mix everything together.

Serve immediately. Feeds about 3-4 people.

2 comments:

Meticulous Mom said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS - BARENAKED LADIES.

Best song ever!!!

Spike said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

love that song! Can you send me an email at spikethebaker@gmail.com? I have some TWD info for you