Oozy Oven-Baked Mac n' Cheese
So I get home after a long day roaming the streets of Cairo. On the trip home in a cab, all I can think about is how it's been hours since brunch, and I'm starving, and want something fast, warm, and comforting. But I dont want to stop over anywhere and grab groceries and carry them upstaris. All I want is to get out of my jeans, shoes, adone something homey, and dig in. A mini-mental inventory of the pantry contents takes place in my mind. And I wonder... can I get away with mac n' cheese without too many extravagant ingredients, and can I make it fast while I take a quick shower? Apparently I can. I made this recipe in less than 30 minutes, with minimal ingredients and a lot of flavor.
And just so you know, all I had in my pantry and fridge at the time that counted as mac-n-cheesyish was some light cheddar, mozarella, and garlic-flavored cream cheese. I was sure I could make-do - I mean, who can go wrong with cheese? The good news is this - It kept really well in the fridge for 2 days without loosing it's goopy cheesiness when re-heated. The bad news? Well... cheese and cream ... need I say more? This isnt exactly the healthiest recipe. You might be putting your waistline in jeapordy. But your comfort has to come first every now and then, and with the oozie cheesy warmth of this simple take on mac n' cheese, you'll indulge in the ultimate comofrt food.
• Half a pack elbow pasta (plus oil and salt for boiling)
• 50ml cooking cream
• 3 generous tablespoons of cream cheese spread (yes, flavored is fine)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grataed / cubed
• 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated / cubed
• 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
• Preheat oven to 240.C
• Boil pasta in water with oil and a generous amount of salt until tender
• Drain, and immediately add cream, stir, and add cream cheese spread. Add pepper and sugar. Stir until incorporated.
• Put all ingredients into a medium terracotta or pyrex oven dish, and cover with cheddar and mozaarella cheeses. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.
• Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts
• Turn on the broiler and brown
• Dig in.
• It occoured to me that a sprinkle of dried basil in there would have been heavenly. Alternatively, garlic, olives, and even chili are excellent additions. The last time I made this, I also added finely diced saussage.
• You dont have to stick with cheddar or mozzarella either. The choice of cheese is really up to you.
• For a less calorie-chaotic deal, opt for plain Greek yogurt instead of cream.