For some reason, the thought of making white sauce from scratch is daunting to some people. But it really isn't! And the best thing is, it's a really versatile basic recipe. You can do almost anything with it. Some examples I've made so far are the lasagne and the cream of mushroom soup. Here, I show you how to use it in a popular favorite (in our cheese-loving house, anyway), macaroni and cheese! ;) Here we go!
What you need:
55g butter or margarine
30g plain flour
170g Cheddar cheese, grated
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
100g fry breadcrumbs
45g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
What you do:
- Preheat a 180°C oven. Grease a 10-inch gratin dish.
- Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until just tender (follow packet instructions). Drain well.
- Melt the butter and margarine in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the macaroni, Cheddar cheese and parsley to the sauce and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared gratin dish, spreading it out evenly with a spoon.
- Toss together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese with a fork. Sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake until the top is golden brown and the macaroni mixture is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.
Ooh, before I go into that, let me just mention that one of my brothers wanted macaroni & cheese, and another one (Hadi is neither of them...) offered to let me "help" him make it. He really seems to enjoy cooking in the kitchen, haha. Not sure if we should be worried yet, but hey. Kudos to him. Another guy in the kitchen, ladies and gentlemen! And this one is still an irresponsible teen who doesn't have to cook for himself yet *cough*likehadi*coughahem*. ;)
Anyways, as I've mentioned over and over, our family is a HUGE fan of cheese. So this brother of mine decides to put a whole lot more cheese in. We actually multiplied this recipe by 4, which gives roughly 680g of cheese. Now, that is a rather alarming amount, so we settled for roughly ... I dunno, 600g maybe. Which would have been good, but we also decided to reduce the amount of milk. Which means that out resulting sauce was very very very thick. To be fair, it didn't feel that thick when we were assembling the dish, but after baking, the whole thing turned out kind of dry, which usually means that the sauce was too thick. Ah well. Live and learn.
But another problem we had was the amount of seasoning we put in. Because we were fasting, we couldn't really taste the sauce, so I just put in what I hoped wasn't too much salt. Turned out that it was too little - and our macaroni & cheese was a bit on the bland (as well as dry) side. Ah well. Still good though. Honestly. Nothing had to be thrown out, or given to the cats. ;)
Looks like this recipe doesn't really multiply well, since we had some extra sauce leftover as well. Or maybe we should have put it all in, to prevent the dryness? I dunno, but we couldn't fit it all in anyway. :( Again - ah well.
I guess we can only hope that our next attempt will turn out better. :)
Quote of the day: Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults.