Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Eggy Macaroni Cheese

As I hinted on my previous post, I am staying with friends with kids for a few days. So child-friendliness of the dishes I cook is important at the moment. Here is one of my favourites for moments like these - macaroni cheese. Very popular with my little nephews, as well as with friends longing for comfort food. I recently witnessed a rather huge young friend of mine (we're talking about almost 2 metres and 100 kilos here) eat a whole lot almost on his own!

It's a doddle to make, and you can also use up any leftover cooked pasta, slices of ham, chunks of cheese. Quite unusally for macaroni cheese, it uses eggs in the mixture, making the dish a bit creamier and lighter in texture in my opinion.

Macaroni Cheese with Mince and Eggs
Makaronivorm hakklihaga
Serves 4

400 grams short pasta
350 grams good quality lean mince of your choice
1 onion
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp oil
0.5 to 1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika powder
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil or oregano

600 ml milk
2 large eggs
0.5 tsp salt
200 ml grated cheese
fresh dill or parsley, chopped (optional)

Cook the pasta al dente, drain.
Fry the onion in oil over moderate heat for 7-10 minutes, add garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
Add the mince and fry, stirring frequently, until the mince is browned.
Season with salt, paprika powder and dried herbs.
Take a large oven dish, oil or butter it lightly. Add the pasta and fried mince into the dish and mix.
Combine milk, eggs and salt, add finely chopped herbes, if using. Pour over the pasta and mince.
Scatter cheese on top.
Bake at the lower part of a 200C oven until the eggy mixture has set and the dish is golden brown and slightly crisp on top.

Serve with salad (see here for a simple beetroot salad and crunchy carrot salad).


thepassionatecook said...

ah, we were talking about this just the other day, right? time i tried it out... the (fresh) macaroni are already in the fridge!

Spinning Girl said...

seda s66ksin suure isuga.

Anonymous said...

The great suprise about dishes like this one is that even though they many not readily be considered to be the height of culinary art, they are easy, practical when there are mouths to feed, and taste too good to say no to. Definately one for the keeping.

Jeanne said...

I love this kind of food and (almost more importantly) so does my husband!! I like trying out complicated new dishes, but the bottom line is that I get home from work after 18h30 every day and I need a repetoire of easy dishes that won't make me lose the will to live on a "school" night as I struggle with demi-glace, bains marie and other such joys. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Definately my kind of comfort food!!

Anonymous said...

Yum! The kid in me (and the adult)loves this recipe!


Kalyn Denny said...

I want some of this!

Pille said...

Johanna - yep, that's the macaroni cheese with eggs we spoke about. I hope Max will like it!

Spinning Girl - ma usun küll:)

Tim - that's true. I'm all for fancy cooking every now and then, but sometimes I just crave comfort food. Some of my recent dishes (baked semolina pudding, meatballs, peach cobbler, and toad-in-the-hole yesterday) just prove the point.

Jeanne - oh yes, I hear you. I'll leave the demi-glaces and bain marie's for the leisurely weekend meals. Or, even better, to my bf, so he can show off his culinary skills:)

Anonymous - great:)

Paz - I'm very pleased to hear that..

Kalyn - well, feel free to peruse the recipe:)

Anonymous said...

Yes this would be nice with adding eggs to make a creamy taste. A lot of M n C rely too heavily on the cheese to give them flavor, but this has a lovely balance.