There is some major reshuffling in the menu plans of my little household starting this week. Reason being: baby boy who has crossed 13 months old mark has decided that he is tired of eating boring old porridge most of the times. As such, I’ve decided to come up with a new menu that consists of dishes mostly suitable for his diet and also still palatable for the girls as well as us adults (keeping fingers crossed!).
The first dish served up is macaroni and cheese, made from scratch. I used to give the girls Mac & cheese, quick-cooking type by Kraft. However, with Joash added into the equation, I am simply not comfortable giving a 13 month-old what-seems-like unhealthy instant food. And so, I went in search for a easy and yet looks good Mac & cheese recipe. And I think I found it on http://www.thekitchn.com.
It was a good start. The 3 kiddos’ response ranged between positive to neutral. That, to me, is good. Very good.
Below is my version (with chopped mushrooms and baby spinach added), slightly altered to serve 3-4 instead of 4-6, and i have taken into consideration some adjustments to better suit our taste after today’s first attempt.
- 200g elbow pasta
- 1 & 1/3 cup milk
- 3/4 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard (paste in tube)
- 3 handful of baby spinach (roughly torn)
- 1 portobello mushroom, chopped / sliced
- 4 slices of ham, cut in strips
- 1/2 breadcrumbs
- butter (for slathering onto breadcrumb)
- Set oven on 180°c on traditional mode. Boil elbow pasta till al dents in salted water as per normal.
- 5 minutes before the pasta are due to be cooked, start on preparing the cheese sauce. Whisk together 1/3 cup of milk with flour, set aside. Pour remaining 1 cup of milk into saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s starting to bubble at the circumference of the saucepan; pour in the milk-flour mixture. Keep whisking gently over low heat until it i kens slightly (kind of like smooth cream soup).
- Add in mushroom. Whisk in cheese, mustard and salt till cheese melted and integrated. Taste & adjust seasoning as well as consistency (with milk) as desired. Remove from stove.
- In a baking dish, combine pasta with half of the cheese sauce, ham and baby spinach. Ensure that all the pasta are coated in cheese sauce. Pour in the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle breadcrumb on top & slather a few pats of butter on. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until breadcrumb turns golden. Serve.