Netflix & SPC: Mystery Mac and Cheese

Netflix & SPC: Mystery Mac and Cheese

Now that fall has arrived, I’m settling back into my comfort cooking and as much as I miss my BBQ burgers and cold salads (watermelon strawberry was my favorite this past summer), I’m fully embracing the lusciousness of fall. In other words, I’m back to cramming my menu with hearty dishes like meatloaf and mac and cheese.

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Photos by Maya Visnyei

However, when it comes to the classics, I’m a big fan of keeping my family guessing about how they’re going to enjoy it each time. For instance, my turkey meatloaf with apples and sage is in heavy rotation right now. It’s not the meatloaf my mom used to make but, luckily, since she was recently with us for a visit, she confirms it’s just as good if not better. I’m also raising the mac and cheese bar with recipes like this little gem that includes, wait for it, kale. Now I know green flecks in mac and cheese may be a tough sell with the little people in your household but, if you’ve got to eat your greens, it may as well be in the timeless favorite of mac and cheese. However, you can stir in any mystery ingredient like sweet potato puree, pumpkin puree or frozen peas.

That’s the thing about family meals–everything is a big mystery. Don’t you think? For instance, I never know what kind of kid I’m going to get at my dinner table each night. Is it going to be the one who can’t sit long enough to eat a plate of food or maybe it’s the one who thinks it’s funny to stir her sweet potato mash into her glass of water? (Yes, the latter actually happened to me last night.) When eating with kids, it’s these unexpected hijinks that are the parental version of watching Scooby Doo – Mystery Incorporated (on Netflix), or playing the old board game Clue. Will Miss Scarlett eat her mystery mac and cheese in the kitchen or will she make her parents want to hang themselves with a rope in the study after six rounds of “just one more bite?” I’m going to be optimistic and guess that Miss Scarlett will be an angel at tonight’s dinner. For sure the crime will be the fault of someone else, maybe Professor Plum.

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Netflix & SPC: Mystery Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups spelt elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons spelt flour
  • ¼ cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shaved cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shaved Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium size saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.

Once butter is melted, slowly add flour, whisking continuously.

Add chicken stock and milk and allow to simmer for 5 minutes so mixture can slowly thicken, stirring occasionally.

Lower heat and add mustard, ched­dar and 1 cup Monterey jack cheese.

Mix until cheeses have melted and mustard is combined.

Add kale, nutmeg and salt; stir until warmed and mixed together, about 2 minutes. (You can stir in frozen peas, sweet potato or pumpkin puree instead of kale, at the same spot in the recipe.)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place cooked pasta into medium size casserole dish and mix in cheese sauce, being sure to coat all the pasta.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining Monterey jack cheese and then top with breadcrumbs.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until cheese sauce is bubbling and edges are a golden brown.

 

 

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