My Life In The Kitchen

May 17, 2010

Mac and Cheese All Grown UP

Filed under: 52 Weeks of Baking, Baking, Cooking, Food, Swap, Swap-Bot — Tags: , , — trinichiqn @ 12:53 am

I love mac and cheese, baked or kraft. I have grown up so my mac and cheese has too. I still love Kraft but they have evolved throughout the years so my homemade baked version should too. Enter the Garden Mac.

I have a number of versions of this mac. Creamy Cheesy, Barbecue, Italian.

As it’s name suggest the Garden is vege filled. Artichoke Hearts, Corn, Carrots, Peas, etc. Add or delete as the palette decides. As little or as much of each as you like.

I have also changed my pasta from tiny elbows which is usually best for mac and cheese to penne. It actually does have a different taste. For all those people who said they can taste the differences in pasta shapes and were mocked I apologize. For the size dish I was using and all the add-in about 1-1.5 cups of uncooked pasta.

Mustard. A key component, it makes a difference especially in the Creamy Cheesy version but it goes great in all three, it adds a nice tang I think. I especially love Honey Mustard, but have used the one pictured above as well as Dijon.

Cheese. I think a variety really is the spice of life. More than one flavour of cheese spices up a mac. Try not to go overboard with textures and flavour. I use four now that I have found this great cheese that has four in one but before I used two or three as the budget allowed.

A great way to get a creamy texture – Roasted Squash Puree.

I usually mix all my add-ins in the same pot I boiled the pasta in after draining it. A little butter,about a quarter cup milk or tomato sauce (never both), mustard, veges, half the cheese, and mix. Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish, sprinkle over some breadcrumbs, salad toppers are also a nice touch they give a little crunch to the meal. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let it sit a while to firm up but if you are like me you may not want to wait.

Enjoy!!!

My submission for week 7 of the 52 Weeks of Baking.

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