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MAC- N – CHEESE AFFAIR; The ultimate comforting pasta based delicacy

LifestyleMAC- N – CHEESE AFFAIR; The ultimate comforting pasta based delicacy

Macaroni and cheese, also called mac and cheese in the United States and macaroni cheese in the United Kingdom, it is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs, veggies, chicken or meat. It has been defined and explained by a number of foodies and food experts as The ultimate stovetop mac ‘n’ cheese should have pasta that is not mushy and does not swim in a pool of watery sauce, but is instead generously coated with Cheddar-cheesy, buttery goodness. The cheese should taste like cheese and shouldn’t have overly sharp, sweet, or artificial flavors. Macaroni and cheese is popular because it’s delicious, the immediate, gustatory pay off of any food centred around starch and cheese should be fairly straightforward. It’s also caloric, which carries with it its fair share of delights.

When it comes to cheese, we have a few international favorites which are preferred while making a great mac-n-cheese Gruyere is a classic addition because it melts much like Cheddar, but has a lovely nutty flavor. Other classics include Gouda, Muenster, Parmesan, fontina, Havarti and Monterey Jack. Brie works well too, just make sure you remove the rind before mixing it in. Macaroni cheese is not a side-dish. It stands alone. Like fish pie, it should be served from a huge, ovenproof dish (make much more than you need, you will be back for seconds and thirds), and ladled out in great, steaming clods with, of course, the crunchy topping facing upwards.

While in India we are still yet to get it more popular on our plates, some do enjoy it once in a while as a pasta favourite choice. The mac-n-cheese concept can also be indianised with twists and creativity angles being attached with trials and research etc. here are a few of my recipes which can be altered in a desi approach and suit our palates even better and leave us asking for more and more!

“Mac-n-Cheese is a delight, it is a meal in itself which can be designed with a desi touch and punch of spice into it as well, we love pasta and cheese varietals and are open to innovating with it”- Dr. Kaviraj Khialani, Celebrity Master Chef.

Recipe-1] DOUBLE LAYERED MAC-N-CHEESE

Ingredients:

Macaroni pasta- 120 gms, boiled

For cooking:

Olive oil/ oil- 2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

Onion-1 small chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs- ¼ tsp

Chili flakes-1/4 tsp

Grated cheese -1/4 cup

White sauce-1 cup

Fresh cream- 2-3 tbsp.

Milk-2-3 tbsp.

For the non-veg options:

Sliced chicken sausages- ½ cup

Boiled diced chicken cubes-1/4 cup

Saute sliced roast chicken-1/2 cup

Canned tuna fish can also be used

Salami/ bacon cubes may also be added

For the veg options:

Exotic veggies/ bell peppers/ Babycorn/ zucchini

Fresh mushrooms/ asparagus/ broccoli etc

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as listed above.
  2. Boil the macaroni pasta and keep aside, prepare the white sauce and other veggies- boil/ blanch and pre-cook and keep aside.
  3. To start with the cooking, pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius and heat oil and butter in a pan, saute the garlic, onions for a few seconds.
  4. Add in the white sauce, the assorted veggies/non-veg ingredients of your choice and add seasonings, herbs, chili flakes etc as per taste and mix well. add a little water or stock to adjust the texture.
  5. Add in the boiled pasta into the pan, give it a nice mix, add some cheese and mix well, cook for a couple of mins and turn off the flame, add some fresh cream.
  6. Place the mixture into a greased baking dish and layer it with choice of freshly tossed/blanched veggies or non-veg as per your choice like sliced boiled eggs, saute sliced sausages etc, top it up with more cheese and place it in the oven for baking for around 4-5 mins. Remove and serve hot with garlic bread/ bread rolls/ masala pao.

Recipe-2] MAC-N-CHEESE DELIGHT

Ingredients:

Macaroni pasta- 120 gms, boiled

For cooking:

Olive oil/ oil- 2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

Shallots/ madras onion-4-5 no sliced

Sliced fresh mushrooms-1 cup

Chopped celery-1/4 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs- ¼ tsp

Chili flakes-1/4 tsp

Grated cheese -1/4 cup

White sauce-1 cup

Fresh cream- 2-3 tbsp.

Milk-2-3 tbsp.

For the non-veg options:

Sliced chicken tikka- ½ cup

Boiled/blanched prawns-1/4 cup

Saute sliced lamb chops-1/2 cup

Canned diced luncheon meat can also be used

Salami or sausages cubes may also be added

For the veg options:

Exotic veggies/ sliced boiled lotus stem/ American corn / water chestnuts/ Fresh mushrooms/ artichokes/ peas etc

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as listed above.
  2. Boil the macaroni pasta and keep aside, prepare the white sauce and other veggies- boil/ blanch and pre-cook and keep aside.
  3. To start with the cooking, pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius and heat oil and butter in a pan, saute the garlic, shallots, celery and mushrooms for a few seconds.
  4. Add in the white sauce, the assorted veggies/non-veg ingredients of your choice and add seasonings, herbs, chili flakes etc as per taste and mix well. add a little water or stock to adjust the texture.
  5. Add in the boiled pasta into the pan, give it a nice mix, add some cheese and mix well, cook for a couple of mins and turn off the flame, add some fresh cream.
  6. Place the mixture into a greased baking dish, top it up with more cheese and place it in the oven for baking for around 4-5 mins. Remove and serve hot with garlic bread/ bread rolls/ masala pao.

Recipe-3] MIX-N-MATCH MAC-N-CHEESE

Ingredients:

Macaroni pasta- 120 gms, boiled

For cooking:

Olive oil/ oil- 2 tsp

Butter-1 tsp

Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp

Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

Onion paste-1/2 cup

Chopped green chilies-1 tsp

Pickled onions in vinegar-3-4 no sliced/chopped

Boiled rajma/ chana/ chauli -1 cup

Chopped tomato-1/4 cup

Tomato puree-1/4 cup

Kasuri methi-1/4 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Mixed herbs- ¼ tsp

Chili flakes-1/4 tsp

Grated cheese -1/4 cup

White sauce-1 cup

Fresh cream- 2-3 tbsp.

Milk-2-3 tbsp.

Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp

For the non-veg options:

Sliced chicken tikka- ½ cup

Boiled/blanched prawns-1/4 cup

Saute sliced lamb chops-1/2 cup

Canned diced luncheon meat can also be used

Salami or sausages cubes may also be added

For the veg options:

Exotic veggies/ sliced boiled lotus stem/ American corn / water chestnuts/ Fresh mushrooms/ artichokes/ peas etc

Method:

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as listed above.
  2. Boil the macaroni pasta and keep aside, prepare the white sauce and other veggies- boil/ blanch and pre-cook and keep aside.
  3. To start with the cooking, pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius and heat oil and butter in a pan, saute the garlic, onion paste, green chilies for a few seconds, add in the tomatoes, puree, salt and spices and bhunao for a couple of minutes, add a little water, cook for 3-4 mins. Into this mixture add in the boiled rajma etc, assorted veggies, paneer cubes, tofu cubes, soya chunks, soya keema etc and cook it well. layer this mixture at the base of your baking dish.
  4. In a separate pan, add in the white sauce, the assorted veggies/non-veg ingredients of your choice and add seasonings, herbs, chili flakes etc as per taste and mix well. add a little water or stock to adjust the texture.
  5. Add in the boiled pasta into the pan, give it a nice mix, add some cheese and mix well, cook for a couple of mins and turn off the flame, add some fresh cream.
  6. Place the mixture into a greased baking dish, on top of the spicy bean and veg mixture and add up with more cheese and place it in the oven for baking for around 4-5 mins. Remove and serve hot with garlic bread/ bread rolls/ masala pao.

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BRIEF ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. KAVIRAJ KHIALANI – CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF IS A MUMBAI-BASED FOOD & HOSPITALITY CONSULTANT. HE HAS WORKED WITH ESTEEMED BRANDS LIKE THE TAJ GROUP OF HOTELS, KUWAIT AIRWAYS AND MANY MORE. BESIDES HAVING SPECIALISED IN OVER 33 PLUS INTERNATIONAL CUISINES CHEF KAVIRAJ IS A RENOWNED NAME IN THE WORLD OF HOSPITALITY EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT. HE HAS ALSO BEEN FEATURED ON STAR PLUS & COLORS TELEVISION. AN AWARDEE OF THE BHARAT VIDYA RATAN AWARD, BEST CHEF ASIA AWARD AND MANY MORE ACCOLADES MAKE HIM ONE OF THE ICONIC NAMES IN THE CULINARY WORLD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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