Friday, November 14, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese

Having attempted a cheesy baked pasta once, I decided to try my hand at a "proper" macaroni and cheese! That is also partly because I just got a new oven dish thingum that is so lovely for baking deep dish pies and whatnot in!

I adapted this from a recipe I found online, to include the caramelised onions and other ingredients to make eating the mac and cheese feel less carb-y and jelat! However, I think ultimately, it is portion control that makes you feel jelat or not.

Other than that, the caramelised onions and mushrooms really shone through. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they were the stars of the show. The sweetness of the onions and the juiciness of the mushrooms were such a delight to savour!

What you will need:
serves 6

four tablespoons of olive oil
seven tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus a bit more for greasing the pan
two medium yellow onions, sliced in semi-circles
a can of button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
five links of cheese sausages, boiled
salt and pepper to taste
a quarter of a cup of all-purpose flour
three cups of whole milk
two eggs
300g of shredded cheddar
100g of shredded mozzarella
100g of pasta shells, boiled until just undercooked
one-third of a cup of panko bread crumbs

I didn't cry while cutting the onions! Hehe.
1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  When heated, add the sliced onions and saut√© until translucent, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook until the onions are completely browned and thoroughly cooked, before spooning them into a small bowl and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and stir to coat in fat. Allow the mushrooms to soften and brown before reducing the heat to low. Cook until mushrooms are browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, melt four tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the mixture is combined.
4. Add the milk and whisk together until mixture has thickened (to make the cream sauce)
5. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add a few tablespoons of the warm cream sauce to the egg and whisk together.
6. Once the egg is warmed, add it back to the cream sauce and whisk well to combine.

7. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheeses. Stir until melted and combined. You may add milk to give the cream a lighter consistency!

8. Add the cooked pasta and stir until all of the pasta is coated in cheese sauce.

9. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and lightly grease a baking pan with butter.

10. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the greased pan.

11. Top with caramelised onions, sausages and mushrooms followed by the final layer of the remaining pasta mixture. Set aside for a moment.

12. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the bread crumbs and toast until panko has absorbed all the butter.

13. Remove from heat and spoon the bread crumbs over the top of the pasta mixture.

14. Bake for 15 minutes until the bread crumbs are browned and the pasta is sizzling. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

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