Thursday, December 22, 2011

Today's dinner: Crock pot mac and cheese.

Today's recipe came from A Whisk And A Prayer. I have mixed feelings about the outcome, but let's get to the recipe, and then i will dialog.

1 1/2 cups milk
One 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temp
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese
1/2 pound elbow macaroni or mini penne tubes, par cooked and drained
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Spray the inside of your slow-cooker with cooking spray or grease it with olive oil. Combine milk, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, and salt in slow-cooker and whisk until until smooth, 
Add the shredded cheese (not the Parmesan) and macaroni, sprinkle with black pepper (and whatever other spices you want to use). Stir gently with a spatula to coat evenly. 
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to LOW and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until custard is set in the center and the pasta is tender. The macaroni and cheese may sit in the cooker on the KEEP WARM setting for 30 minutes before serving. Before dishing it up, I sautéed some bread crumbs with olive oil and sprinkled them over the top to make it a little fancier. 

How i made the bread crumbs: 
1/1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Saute in olive oil. 

I forgot to cook the pasta a little bit before putting it in, but i don't think that was an issue. The pasta cooked good, the cheese melted good, although I think the pasta to cheese ratio was a little off. Needed more pasta or less cheese. I also think it might have cooked a bit too long, as the outside wall was a bit overcooked. Maybe like a half hour less. I think I would avoid the seasoned bread crumbs too, but I don't eat a lot of things that are that seasoned, so it was a bit too much for me, but someone who likes a lot of flavor, that would be perfect for you!!! I think there was a bit too much parmesan cheese too, as that seemed to be a pretty strong flavor, and really overpowered everything too much.

Overall, I would say this was pretty good, it's worth trying especially if you want a more homemade mac and cheese without the effort. Just needs a bit of tweaking. Bill has not tried it yet, he will try it tomorrow and let me know how he feels about the flavors.

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