Surely we can all agree that the Internet doesn't need another recipe for mac and cheese, but this one is so unique in the preparation that I thought it necessary to share with you. Designed for kids who love to cook, this one pot dish is so innovative I can't believe I haven't come across the method before.
If you don't know, traditional mac and cheese comes together by making a roux (equal parts fat + flour), adding milk and embellishing it with lots of sharp cheddar cheese, ground nutmeg, powdered mustard and seasonings. The gooey sauce is poured over hot cooked pasta and either served immediately, or baked in the oven with a cheesy breadcrumb topping. Not an ideal task for young kids learning to cooking, but not impossible either.
Fortunately, the Dairy Farmers of Canada recently launched a new website dedicated to getting kids in the kitchen. Their mission is to inspire families to cook together, and last week Jackson and I did a test-run of their one pot mac and cheese recipe.
The creative developers skipped the step of making a roux on the stovetop, and streamlined the process by suggesting that kid cooks purée the cheese sauce ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and add them to a pot of freshly cooked pasta. When warmed over the heat, the sauce thickens and coats the noodles, and what you're left with is a bowl of cheesy goodness that tastes as if you spent way longer preparing the dish. Genius.
As you can see from the photo below, our four-legged quality control supervisor made sure the cheese was being grated properly, but after years of helping out in the kitchen, Jack has that job down pat.
Do you spend a lot of time cooking with your kids? If you’re interested in sharing your story about the importance of creating a family kitchen in your home, you could be eligible one of six prize packages (including the $2,500 grand prize!) from the kind folks over at Family Kitchen.
One Pot Mac and Cheese
adapted from www.familykitchen.ca
- 8oz. macaroni or small pasta
- 3 cups shredded aged-cheddar cheese (or a blend of your favourite cheeses)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder or Dijon mustard
- 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1. Shred cheese using a grater.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until just tender, but firm.
3. While the pasta cooks, combine the cheese, milk, flour, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth.
4. When the pasta is ready, drain well and return to the pot. Add the cheese sauce and mix it in, cooking the pasta over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is creamy, smooth and thick.
5. Check the seasonings, add salt or more pepper if needed, and garnish with additional cheese, if desired.
Although this post has been sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.