We’ve got a guest, so I wanted something quick but still kind of indulgent, and we had the ingredients for mac and cheese.
- taco seasoning
- salt, pepper, garlic
- cream cheese
- shredded taco cheese
Start the water boiling on high and the butter melting on medium. Add as much flour as you used butter, and let that turn into a roux. Let it cook down for a bit so it doesn’t end up tasting like flour. You should be moving on to the next step around the time your pasta water comes to a boil.
Add your spices and a splash of milk, and stir it all together so it makes a thinner paste. Add a chunk of cream cheese for additional flavor and creaminess, add some more milk, and let all of that melt together while stirring frequently.
When it comes just to a boil, turn the heat down and add all of your shredded cheese. Let it melt, stirring constantly, and by the time it’s done your pasta should be ready. Add the pasta to the sauce and serve!
So, one thing about mac and cheese is that you can make it just by applying cheese to macaroni. And in Russia, that seemed way easier than making cream sauce, and boxed mac and cheese was completely unavailable. Which meant I was making comfort food – and trying to be healthy – with as few ingredients as possible.
- macaroni noodles
- some kind of cheese that was roughly the consistency of a block of Colby Jack
- can of mixed carrots and peas
- meat of some sort – looked like a thing of hard salami?
Okay, so nothing was really labelled. Like – I know it was cheese. And you can use any kind of cheese that grates okay and melts nice. And the meat was some kind of strongly flavored cured sausage thing that looked good – you can honestly use whatever, but I wanted something strongly flavored to pair with the mild cheese, plus not to have to cook it separately.
Start the water boiling and start grating the cheese. Hopefully you’ll be done the cheese by the time you throw the noodles in, and then you can slice the sausage thing. When the noodles are done, drain them, then put them back in the pot. Add the cheese and meet, drain your can of veggies, throw those in, and stir everything together. The residual heat should melt the cheese, and you’ve got a quick dinner that has most of the major food groups.
Today was a leftovers day, so here’s a recipe from my tumblr:
- 1 box ravioletti
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- Some chicken broth
- Shredded cheese
We had a box of dried ravioletti. I cooked it on the stove barely – I started the oven preheating to 350°F when I added the pasta to the water, and then drained it when the oven hit temperature. At that point it was still severely al dente.
In a casserole dish I dumped the can of soup and probably like a cup of broth and a handful of shredded cheese and some garlic powder and black pepper. You can skip the broth if you’re fully cooking the pasta, but I super hate the texture of overcooked pasta and so wanted it to finish in the oven.
I’d cooked the pasta like half of the recommended time, drained it super half-heartedly so there was a little extra water going in, stirred it, and and topped it with more cheese.
I cooked it for 30 minutes at 350°F, then upped it to 450°F for ten minutes so the top started to brown a bit. Probably should play around with time and temperature to make it higher.
It tastes like comfort and indulgence.