Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crunchy Mac & Cheese?

Tonight I was in the mood for some nummy comfort food that wasn't a lot of work.  What could be more comforting than a steamy bowl of macaroni and cheese?

I've wanted to try something with Panko (a Japanese breadcrumb made from bread without crusts) for a long time because they're supposed to be even crunchier than regular.  This was the perfect recipe for a taste test.  They are definitely a different consistency than the traditional or Italian breadcrumbs that I usually use, not as finely crushed but a little bigger pieces.  I also added a splash of white wine to the cheese sauce and some cut up already cooked ham to make it a meal.  Overall it was pretty good, but not very cheesy.  Guess I'm still on a quest for a yummy homemade mac and cheese that's not out of a box and isn't 1000 calories per serving!

The Quick & Dirty

  • Added wine to the cheese sauce
  • Added chunks of pre-cooked ham when mixing the pasta and the cheese together
  • Used whole grain shell pasta instead of macaroni noodles
  • Used regular mozzarella cheese
  • Baked it in an 8x8 dish instead of individual ramekins (although this sounds like a cool idea if I were serving to other people)
  • The bread crumbs made it nice and crunchy
  • Not too much prep work
  • No crazy ingredients so it'd be good for those picky eaters
  • Not really very cheesy or creamy
  • Should've left it in the oven a bit longer to get even browner and crunchier on top
  • The recipe calls for way too many breadcrumbs...could've cut back on that
  • Not sure if buying a whole thing of bay leaves was worth it for the one that got cooked in with the cheese

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