Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is a part of my childhood, college years and still a part of my life. My mother used to bake it in a huge oven proof bowl and I especially loved the crusty noodles on the side. In those days Velveeta was that main ingredient with butter and milk. I don't remember my mother ever measuring it out. She just put some in a pan and it worked! Then in college, we would buy those packages that you could make in 20 minutes or something. They tasted horrible but we thought it would be faster and easier to make the package than to actually "cook". And I still love Mac and Cheese but I thought I would have to give it up till I found this recipe. It makes a creamy sauce and bakes up great. Just the right thing for a could day with a salad and some fresh baked bread.
Servings: 6 Duration: about 45 minutes
Utensils: 9 x 13 baking pan, 2 saucepans, whisk
Cooking surface: stove top and oven
Oven Temperature: 350 / 170 degrees
The best "bread crumbs" are panko bread crumbs, which are very crunchy bread crumbs from Japan. They are made from Japanese wheat bread, which is slowly dried and then shredded into crispy flakes. They make a really crunchy top to hot dishes or are great for breading tofu filets. You have to make sure that you store them in a tightly sealed container after opening or they will become soggy.
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup vegan magarine
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 cups soy, almond or rice milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tab tomato paste, optional
2 teas salt
1 teas garlic powder
1 Tab lemon juice
1 Tab agave syrup
2 Tab bread crumbs
1 Tab nutritional yeast flakes
1 teas onion powder
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 / 170 degrees. Lightly grease the baking pan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add macaroni. Cook about 8 minutes or until the macaroni is al dente - soft but still hold its form.
Meanwhile in a saucepan, make a roux by whisking the margarine and flour over medium heat for a few minutes until it forms a paste. Add milk, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, salt and garlic powder to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce thickens. Add seasoning and stir in lemon juice and agave. Toss noodles with sauce and transfer to the pan. Mix bread crumbs with nutritional yeast and spices. Sprinkle over noodles and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is light brown and crisp. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
The tomato paste adds some flavor but it isn't really necessary. My mother always used onion in her mac and cheese - 1 medium onion does it. I like to serve it in individual oven proof bowls. Then everybody gets some of that great crust on the sides!