Monday, 20 February 2017

Mushroom Mac & Cheese 蘑菇奶酪通心粉

This was what happened when I happily went out for shopping this afternoon. I forgot to thaw anything for dinner. I also forgot to tell husband to settle his own dinner. Err...actually I'd totally forgotten about him for half a day.  I did not want a disgruntled man after his hard day at work. So, meatless one dish meal that's it! Initially, I thought he'd be unhappy that I serve him Mushroom Mac & Cheese 蘑菇奶酪通心粉 as I had most of the ingredients readily available. But was pleasantly surprised to see him really enjoying it and gobbled everything down!

Ingredients (enough for 2 pax) :
  • 150 gm of macaroni (or enough for 2 pax)
  • 150 gm fresh shiitake mushrooms (rinsed and stems removed)(thinly sliced)
  • a few cherry tomatoes (cut to halves)
  • a handful of salad greens (i used wild rockets)
  • bacon bits (optional)
  • 1 cup cooking cream
  • 1 cup grated/shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 pc chicken or ikan bills stock cube 
  • 3 cups water (for stock)
  • 2 tbsp potato starch flour (mix with 3 tbsp water)
  • salt (to taste)
  • grounded black pepper (to taste)
  • olive oil or cooking oil

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon) 

Method :
  1. Boil water in saucepan and add macaroni. Remember to also add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp cooking oil so that macaroni would have a little flavour and would not stick together when boil.
  2. Macaroni has the tendency to stick together. Stir and check constantly. Drain and set macaroni aside when ready. 
  3. Heat cooking oil in a separate pot. Saute finely chopped onions and garlic at low-medium heat.
  4. Turn to medium heat. Fold in shitake mushrooms and give it a quick stir fry.
  5. Add 3 cups of water into pot.
  6. Add the 1/4 pc stock cube.
  7. When stock boils, it'll be filled with mushroom aroma.
  8. Slowly fold in potato flour mixture.
  9. Stir till stock thickens.
  10. Fold in macaroni that were set aside earlier.
  11. Turn to low heat and add cooking cream.
  12. Give it a quick stir till macaronis are coated with cream.
  13. Add 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese into the pot.
  14. Gently stir till cheese melted and macaronis evenly coated with cheese too.
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Scoop macaroni into serving bowls
  17. Top up the other 1/2 cup grated cheese onto serving bowls together with cherry tomatoes.
  18. Send serving bowls into oven to bake at 220 degrees celsius for 6-8 minutes (I did not preheat my oven).
  19. Remove from oven when time's up. By then, the top layer cheese would be melted and slightly burnt. 
  20. Top with fresh salad greens, bacon bits and serve whilst hot. Do be careful that the serving bowls would be piping hot too.

I know Mac & Cheese is an all time classic. Do not ask me if it's the correct or traditional way to cook Mac & Cheese. I could only tell you this was how I figured out myself without referring to any other recipes and by using whatever ingredients I had off hand. The real masters would probably faint if they they see my unconventional method. What's more important to me was that the dish tasted good. This Mushroom Mac & Cheese 蘑菇奶酪通心粉 might be a meatless dish (not exactly meatless as I added a little bacon bits), but definitely a comfort dish. Who says comfort dish needs to be meaty?


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