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Sunday, December 23, 2007

OMG! Another Macaroni And Cheese With Mushrooms

I find it incredibly revealing to look at the statistics on the blog from time to time. Especially what people search for and what recipes they are looking for. Consistently, over the year, two different categories rate the highest. The Mac & Cheese recipes and Lemon Meringue Pie. Now, personally I do understand the desire to create a great Lemon Meringue Pie but Mac & Cheese is just so... well so easy, right?

I am not really sure how to interpret this. We are talking literally way over 10,000 (ten thousand) hits during the year on Mac & Cheese recipes! I would tend to think that simply put many people are looking for the simple, easy, and good recipes with which they can eat and feed their families without too much bother and fuss. And many of these people are simply not chefs and cooks, and want an easy way to make good food. Which is something I suspected for a very long time. But I may be reading the statistics in a way I want to see them, however, nevertheless the fact remains the Mac & Cheese recipes @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen are very popular with Internet searches.

So in honor of this we are going to present yet another Mac & Cheese (coupled with mushrooms) today.

Macaroni & Cheese With Mushrooms

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

Ingredients:

Conchiglie
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

Pipe Rigate
Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen
  1. One bag of Pasta - (I usually use either conchiglie (shells) or pipe rigate (elbow shells) - This should be about 1/2 Kilo or 1 pound. You can of course make less or more, depending on how many people you need to feed!
  2. Grated Cheese - Once again you can use any cheese you like. I use Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. You will need around 400 grams of Mozzarella (14 ounces) and 100 grams (4 ounces) of Parmesan.
  3. Olive Oil - For the bottom of the pan that you put in the oven.
  4. Fresh Mushrooms (I really do not like the canned or bottled mushrooms - but you can use them as well!).
  5. 1 Teaspoon fresh Oregano (just a touch) or you can use the spice jar.
  6. 1 Tablespoon of Salted Butter - My sister adds this, I do not. Your choice.
  7. Pepper & Salt to taste
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Utensils You Need:
  1. Oven Tempered Pot or Silver Foil Pan
  2. Colander (Food Strainer)
  3. Pot To Boil Pasta
Recipe Directions:

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen
  1. First you have to get that pasta (macaroni) ready. So put it on the stove in water, (cover the macaroni and add about another 1/3 of water to the pot.
  2. Let it cook on the flame between 12-18 minutes. The Macaroni should be soft to the touch when you are done but not soggy! So this timing is really a matter of experience believe it or not, cause it should be an almost exact science!
  3. While the Macaroni is boiling on stove stop - cut up the mushrooms and get the oven pot ready by spreading a bit of olive oil on the bottom.
  4. Pre-Heat Oven to 350ยบ Fahrenheit.
  5. When the Macaroni is ready (remember soft not soggy! don't let it cook too much!) pick up the pot and pour it all in the Colander so now you get rid of the water.
  6. Now put the Macaroni into your oven ready dish.
  7. Take around 100 grams of the Mozzarella cheese and put on top.
  8. If you are going to add butter just drop it on the top
  9. Add the Oregano on top.
  10. Now mix it all together - (cheese, butter and Oregano.)
  11. Now mix in all the cut-up mushrooms. (ACK! Forgot this step! Kali found the omission!)
  12. Now take the rest of the Mozzarella and sprinkle it all around the top. Don't mix it in. This is the cheese cover.
  13. Now take the Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it around the middle or around the sides, any which way you like. (See the photo above)
  14. In the end you should have a cheese top.
  15. Now cover the dish with silver foil - do NOT put that dish in the oven without it being covered! Otherwise the cheese will not melt at a rate that the Macaroni (pasta) is cooked.
  16. Now believe it or not, this depends on the temperament of your oven. When my oven is having a bad hair day it needs say 60-75 minutes. On a day when the oven is in a good mood and does not want to do some nasty stuff to me it takes 60 minutes! What you want to end up with, is a melted cheese on top and the pasta cooked evenly. I use a glass dish so I can see the macaroni next to the glass. My kids like it crusty!
  17. Now take that silver foil off, and let the dish cook for 5 minutes, so the cheese turns a nice light golden brown. Don't burn it so be careful here!
  18. Take it out - Serve or let it cool off and put in the fridge until ready to be heated up and served.
  19. By the way this is one of those special dishes that I say - go ahead and nuke a part of it when you want to heat it up real fast and you take it from the fridge. (2-3 minutes in the Microwave is usually enough!)
There ya go - another Mac & Cheese! Enjoy.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

I love rating my own recipes. Our insane cook Paula cannot say a thing. HAH! But this is really a two - I kid you not. Not hard, easy on the hands, concentration and kitchen. Enjoy it!

13 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Barbara said...

Mac & cheese is UNIVERSAL comfort food.

As a single parent I can tell you its also great for putting VEGGIES in and getting my kids to eat!!

And making it from scratch is so YUMMY!

kali said...

pssst, teddy? when do you add the mushrooms?

btw, in my experience, it's best to bring the pot of (salted) water to a full rolling boil before adding the pasta, then stir, and only boil 8-10 mins - or you will end up with mushy pasta.

another suggestion would be to do the mixing in the pot used to cook the pasta (if you're using a different pan to bake in - me, i'd either use the same pot or a glass baking dish for the baking)

your oven must be really different than mine, cuz i only bake mac and cheese for about 30-45 mins @350 (remember the pasta is already pre-cooked)

hey barbara, i like that idea about adding veggies - chopped broccoli or julienne green beans would be yummy in this dish. (could easily cook with the pasta as well)

Paula's Poetry said...

I like the addition of mushrooms.. I'll have to sneak those in next time.

Ted I would have given you a three rating for sure..;)

Tanya said...

Well, it's a universal comfort food-- but also, I think, while it's easy, most people have only had it made by their own mothers, restaurants, or the box; maybe they don't realize how easy it is.
Personally, I like to check blogs out for different recipes either every time I'm bored with my (very basic) recipe, or every time I want to use a new texture of cheese in it. Then again, I'm an oddball. You'll usually find broccoli in my traditional mac-n-cheese and spinach in ones where I use more subtle cheeses. Mushroom-spinach-swiss mac sounds good t'me.

Sorina said...

It look's to good to be through I am definitely going to try this

therapydoc said...

As one who actually does have a fire in the kitchen on occasion, this is great stuff. I'm going to try this recipe, thanks!

Bombchell said...

that looks yummy!!

lol i was so excited when i saw the picture first, i thought it was meat lol and not mushrooms.

kabonfootprint said...

I am learning how to cook (decent meals :-) ) thanks Busby SEO challenge

Nguyen Truong Tung (Tom) said...

Yes....this is really great! Mushrooms and cheese.

Roland said...

very informative details thanks for that, nice article
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Roland said...

very informative details thanks for that, nice article
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cheap sweets said...

What can I say? This is indeed a fabulous recipe for friday night dinners! I'm excited!

dizi izle said...

thank you