When we moved to Europe one of the items that we always asked for in our care packages was boxes of macaroni and cheese. My husband and I so craved the taste of comfort food from home. (Back then I didn’t cook) Every time we tore open the shipment containers we grinned at the sight of those little blue boxes. It wasn’t that the taste of the packaged macaroni was fantastic, it was simply that it connected us to our families and childhoods in the states.
In the earlier European days we both craved a taste of home more often than we do now. So receiving those care packages was something we were very grateful for. You’d be surprised at the silly things one can miss when they move away from their native or adopted land. That also leads to spending a considerable amount of money to buy those products from specialty shops which import them. Once we found a few of the blue mac & cheese boxes here and ended up spending about four times than we would back home. Ah… the things you’ll do when you’re home sick.
Eventually we both got over those cravings and have really taken a liking for local products over ones from back home. Even so it doesn’t mean that we still don’t crave certain foods -we do. One day I decided that I would teach myself how to cook better and non-color additive macaroni and cheese. It took me a couple of tries but I finally have a simple yet delicious recipe. Additionally it is lighten up a bit so we can enjoy it more often. By “lighten-up” I don’t mean using fat-free or light ingredients. No, my recipe uses full fat ingredients and if you substitute them with fat-free products the results will not be the same. Here’s how I make my mac & cheese.
- 1 bag (400 g) macaroni noodles
- 100 gm Gouda, shredded
- 1¼ cup or 300 ml whole milk
- 40 g or 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- pinch of salt, extra if desired
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp flour
- Cook the macaroni noodles according to package instructions. While the noodles are boiling start the sauce. In a large pot melt the butter, once melted saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir until it forms a roux (thick paste). Pour half a cup of milk into the pot and stir until well combined. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and the ground black pepper into the pot, stir well. Add the shredded cheese and a little more of the milk. Continue stirring as the cheese begins to melt. Pour the rest of the milk and continue stirring until the cheese completely melts and the cheese sauce forms. Taste again and adjust salt if necessary.
- Mix the cooked and drained macaroni into the pot, be careful not to overspill. Continue mixing until all the noodles are well coated with the sauce. Serve right away.
The result is a creamy sauce that coats the noodles without having them swimming in it. I’ve been cooking our macaroni and cheese this way for about two years. It is one of our favorite meals and also the base for one of my husband’s famous recipes. (I’ll share his recipe soon.) If you must have a cheesier meal then you could of course double the sauce ingredients…I have yet to do so. The recipe can be served as a meal for two or as a side dish for four. Additionally you could swap out the Gouda for Cheddar or any other firm to semi-firm cheese.
Christmas is exactly two weeks from now (wow!) and over the course of this week I’ll be sharing some gift ideas for the foodie bloggers and photographers in your life.
I am running a special limited time offer on my food photography eBook guide. You can buy a copy directly from me (via Paypal) and have it delivered to your friend. With this offer you can personalize a special message for them. Please use the contact form to inquire or email me directly at spiciefoodie (@) gmail.com Please do not send payments until you contact me first. Sales price is $8.99 -a bargain!
The following are gifts for food blogger photography needs. 1.Lighting Strobe Kits 2.Cleaning Kits (for camera and lens) 3.PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO CONTINUOUS LIGHTING UMBRELLA KIT + Free 27 Watts 5500K Fluorescent Photo Lamp Bulb 4. Protect Your Lens with A Filter 5. Reflector Kits (bounce,reflect or diffuse) 6.Spring Clamps (to hold the reflector, boards, backgrounds in place)