Sunday, 23 May 2010

Golden Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes I find it difficult to leave work at work. When I emotionally take work home with me on a weeknight, it's not too bad. You know, you get home late and you leave early the next morning. When I take it home over the weekend, I tend to spend it being quite mopey and waste a lot of my time worrying at whatever the issue is.

At times like this, I don't want fresh and vibrant food. I want comfort food, food that is creamy and warm and gooey and most likely pretty darn bad for you. So, I was feeling a little blue and in need of comfort. I was looking through foodgawker and found myself clicking on all the mac cheese recipes, so I figured I might as well not fight it and give in. I made macaroni and cheese.

Just as a little side note, I really want to make this recipe from Italian Food Safari without actually making my own orecchiette so I went down to a nearby Woolworths and to try and buy some. I found something that was labelled orecchiette and bought it, despite my misgivings that it looked more like a donut than an ear. (Funnily enough, that's how the brand describes it on their website - donut-shaped). I couldn't bring myself to make this recipe with my strange orecchiette and decided to utilise it in this recipe instead.

My mouse appears to be a little possessed today. It keeps clicking and dragging things when I want them to stay where they are and refusing to click and drag when I want to link things. Grr.

Anyway, back to creamy, cheesy pastas. As I said, I found the recipe for Golden Macaroni and Cheese on Elizabeth's Edible Experience via foodgawker. It looked so easy to make and it was incredibly easy. Dangerously so, in fact. It takes remarkably little effort to get something so gooey and wonderful into the oven.

Elizabeth says that the trick to this recipe is that part where you put your flour and milk (and some garlic powder, mustard powder and white pepper, in my case) into a jar and shake vigorously. The sauce thickens while baking. Amazing. In fact, my biggest issue while cooking this was that I couldn't find a jar big enough for me to make my floury milk cocktail. I don't know where all of my big jars have gone. I ended up finding one that only just contained everything, but sometimes I like living dangerously.

Just for fun - and because I had lots of cheese in the fridge - I mixed up some sharp cheddar, some extra sharp matured crumbly cheddar and some mozzarella. I really liked the way it turned out. There was a nice sharp edge but still had the stringiness of the mozzarella. It was a good balance.

My oven doesn't brown things all that well, so I fired up the grill for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking to get some golden crispy topping.

I did halve Elizabeth's recipe because I was only cooking it for D and me, but I have to admit that we ate the whole thing. It was amazing. It was one of the best macaroni and cheese dishes I have ever tasted. Incredible.

So, if you are feeling blue and only warm cheesy creamy pasta will do, check out Golden Macaroni and Cheese over at Elizabeth's Edible Experience.


  1. hey, that looks awesome! what does the shaking all the ingredients in the jar do? does that mean you don't need to heat the flour and milk together on the hob? the picture looks so tempting i think i need to try this!

  2. I think so, a.h. I'm not sure of the science behind it, but it really works.

    One thing I hate about a bechamel/roux is that I have to dirty another dish, so on top of a pan for the pasta, a dish for the casserole you have another saucepan for the bechamel. It was much easier to wash a jar than a saucepan.