Yesterday I posted about my macaroni in soup, which happened the day before. Yesterday I did not cook, because I had to play foodie tour guide for the crazy auntie. You won’t be seeing me blog about that, because unfortunately my phone was dead so I had no photos to show.
Today, the crazy auntie
suggested requested demanded a home cooked dinner by me. She was adamant that she can handle tasteless food and food poisoning, so I really did not have any option except to submit to her will. So I decided to cook something that is relatively complicated by my standards. Mac and Cheese it is.
When I first started cooking my own mac and cheese, this was the first video that I checked out:
My first impression was horror. How many pots and pans do you want the cheese cream to touch? Don’t you need to wash them later?! Mozarella? Parmigiano? Pancetta? What the hell? In Malaysia, these are the exotic items! If I use these stuff, my mac and cheese for 1 person would cost me RM 50 at least! (Back then I don’t even know what Parmigiano meant, now I know it just means Parmesan cheese)
Laura: It’s super simple and easy, I mean, if I can do it, you can do it!
Me: No Laura! I can’t do it! There’s too many ingredients used, and it’s not super simple! It’s super complicated!
At this stage I think you know what is going to happen next. Yup, I am going to ignore Laura’s recipe and steps. I am going to sacrilegiously blaspheme her recipe by oversimplifying it to suit my needs and pocket. And I have been sticking to my method since.
- Cheddar cheese slices
- Minced pork
- Secret marinade for minced pork
- Olive oil
Pancetta or even bacon are too expensive for a cheapo like me. Usually I won’t even bother. But since I have some leftover minced pork for today, why not? The secret marinade, well, it’s a secret. Of course you can always use whatever seasoning that you like.
I use only cheddar cheese slices, because, well, they are the cheapest cheese option in Malaysia. To be honest, even if I use a mixture of cheese type, they would end up in my taste bud as just a pile of cheese. My Asian tongue is not well developed to distinguish different cheese type once they are mixed up anyway.
- Put the macaroni to boil. Use the non-stick frying pan instead of pot.
- Prepare the baking tin. Wipe butter all over it.
- When macaroni is 76.558% cooked (use your feeling), drain it and pour it into the baking tin.
- Re-use the frying pan. Add in a dash of extra virgin olive oil, and stir fry the minced pork until golden brown.
- Pre-heat the oven at 180°C.
- Pour the minced pork into the baking tin.
- Hand shred 2 slices of cheddar cheese and spread it all over the mix in the baking tin.
- Pour in small amount of milk into the baking tin. Imagine a tequila shot. One shot of milk for one person’s portion.
- Stir and mix everything up until it is one big pile of mess.
- Place 2 slices of cheddar cheese on top of the mess. This will be the half assed attempt to create a charred topping.
- Slap the baking tin into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
While waiting for the mac to bake, I rather spontaneously decided to do a side dish. Sweet peas scrambled egg.
- Re-use the frying pan, again. A dash of olive oil, stir fry some defrosted frozen sweet peas for a minute.
- Crack an egg (or two) into the pan, stir and mix it all up.
The main logic that I use behind my procedure is that, I do not want to end up with 500 pots with sticky cheese. They are a pain in the ass to wash after the meal.
The small amount of milk is because if we did not cook the milk with cheese into a creamy paste, if we use as much milk as Laura’s video, the end product will be mac soaked in milk instead of mac and cheese.
The cheese part, well, I basically just shred them up, spread them around and stir, and then pray that the spread is even around the mixture so that the end product will turn out cheesy on every part. Fortunately, more often than not, it worked for me.
So here’s my end product.
The crazy auntie said it was just nice and not over-cheesed. So I suppose this lazy recipe of mine is a workable method.