Posts tagged ‘mac and cheese’

March 18, 2011

Sneaky Chef: Lite Mac & Cheese

I knew I’d be very busy this week, so my goal when planning the menu was to make a lot of stuff ahead or toss stuff in the crock pot.

Yesterday, I went the crock pot route with a traditional St. Patrick’s menu, but today I used some of the items I made ahead earlier in the week.

When pondering make-ahead items, I stumbled on a blog entry talking about the Sneaky Chef. Most of the S.C. recipes call for make-ahead items, so that worked perfectly for us this week.

Tonight, we gave this one a try.

Not only is it a great make-ahead meal, I made it in parts. First the purees, which I then refrigerated. Then, this morning I measured out what was needed for the sauce into a pot and put that in the fridge. So at dinner, all we had to do was make the pasta, heat the sauce, and mix them together.

To say this dish was a hit would be an understatement. The kids wanted seconds and thirds. It tastes exactly like box mac & cheese, but without all that yucky processed cheese and with veggies! We’ll make again… and double the recipe next time.

February 3, 2011

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese

From my Twitter:

Totally need to double the recipe the next time I make this mac & cheese. OMG nomz.

Here’s the pic, and the recipe!imageMac & Cheese is not very photogenic, esp. when I’m trying to take a pic of what it looked like in the pot. But this dish was amazing. The kids each had three servings and I had two.

The recipe, once again, came from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook. But since I was able to find it already posted on the web, I’m re-posting below. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups skim or low-fat milk
One 15-ounce can evaporated skim milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese, such as Oregon Tillamook, Vermont colby, or Wisconsin longhorn
8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

1 Coat the slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine the low-fat and evaporated milks, egg, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the cheese and macaroni; gently stir with a rubber spatula to coat evenly with the milk and cheese mixture. Pour into the crock pot. Sprinkle the Parmesan on the top. (Edited – the original recipe said to mix everything in the crock pot. Don’t do that, it defeats the purpose of coating the pot with spray.)

2 Cover and cook on LOW until the custard is set in the center and the pasta is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Do not cook more than 4 hours, as the sides will dry out and burn.

Macaroni and Italian Cheese: For the cheddar, substitute a combination of 1 cup of shredded fontina (4ounces) and 1/2 cup of diced or shredded mozzarella (2 ounces).

Macaroni and Swiss Cheese: Substitute an equal amount of shredded Gruyere or Emmenthalar cheese for the cheddar.

Macaroni and Blue Cheese: Add 1/2 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola (2 ounces), Stilton, Roquefort, or American blue cheese to the cheddar and macaroni.

My notes: I went with regular old shredded sharp cheddar cheese from the grocery store. And I left out the salt, since cheese has a lot of salt anyways. Turned out great! The texture is definitely similar to what you get from a baked mac & cheese. The prep took me exactly 2 minutes, and that’s with W’s “help.” If I were to change anything, I think I’d stir about halfway through to redistribute the cheddar. But it was a definite crowd-pleaser as-is.