You’d probably notice that in my quick simple meals (for my kids), one of the key ingredients is always cheese!
My kids are what you’d call “banana” – Chinese, but more angmoh (Caucasian) as they prefer Western food over Chinese, speaks mostly English at home and in school. They usually prefer sandwiches, pasta, pizza and anything cheese over rice with dishes.
So, this is another one of their favourite: macaroni and cheese. However, rather than just making the usual plain mac & cheese, I’d usually sneak in some vegetables into their meal.
1 cup of macaroni (approx) – cooked per instructions on packaging
1 tbsp of olive oil
A clove of garlic – finely chopped
A small onion – finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup of warm milk
1/2 cup of chicken stock
A bunch of broccoli/ cauliflower florets
Carrots – finely julienne
3-4 tbsp of cooking cream
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
A dash of Italian herbs *optional
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup of mozzarella or pizza toppings cheese
4-5 tbsp of Japanese breadcrumbs/ panko
Chicken stock cube (knorr/ maggi) *optional
1. Add approximately 1 tsp of oil to the pan and saute the garlic till fragrant. Then add in the onion and stir till soften.
2. Once the onion is soft, add in the butter. As the butter melted, add in the flour and stir it well. Then slowly pour in the warm milk and keep stirring. The mixture may turn a little lumpy, but it’s ok. Just keep stirring till the flour is cooked.
3. Then pour in the chicken stock and stir till the mixture turns creamy. If it’s too thick, you may add more stock or water.
4. Once you have a nice creamy consistency, add in the vegetable and simmer for a few mins before adding in the cooked macaroni. Simmer for another 1-2 mins. If the sauce thicken, add some water.
5. Season it with salt and pepper (and Italian herbs if you like), and and just before you removed it from the heat, add the cream and cheddar cheese
6. Scoop it out into a baking dish (I used two individual 5″ ceramic pie plate) and top it with the breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese.
7. Bake for 10-12 mins or till the cheese is browned.
8. Serve warm.