Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home Cooking today

Elbow macaroni in a plate of macaroni and cheeseImage via Wikipedia

My husband cooked up some bacon this morning, and woke me up with a yummy bacon sandwich on potato bread. With a glass of fresh made lime-ade. Yum, and that limaid sure felt good on my sore throat.

For lunch today, I made what I consider 'white trash' cooking. My definition of white trash cooking includes anything where the majority of the ingredients come from boxes or cans - quick and easy, tastes good, not always low-fat/low-sodium ;) My boys love mac n cheese, (like most kids their age) so I decided to make a meal based around that. Armed with two boxes of regular Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and a 1/2K (appr. 1lb) of very lean ground beef, I set to making some cheeseburger macaroni.

(enough for a family of 4)

2 boxes Mac/cheese dinner
1/2K ground beef
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/3 cup ketchup

1) Start your water boiling - you want want to use a large pot, since you'll need to boil 2 boxes of noodles. I used about 4 quarts of water - don't forget to dump a big pinch of salt in, and about a tbsp of oil. Put your noodles in when the water starts to boil. Remember, DON'T cover a pot of noodles while it's cooking, it'll make it boil over.

2) While the water's coming to a boil, put your hamburger in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned salt and chili powder and stir with a wooden or nylon spatula, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks. Drain the grease if there's a lot, then add the ketchup and stir well. (If you use a very lean ground beef, there's not going to be enough grease to worry about)

My skillet looks like this:

3) Noodles should be done or near done by now - you want them 'al dente', not mushy - about 8 minutes at a full boil. Drain the water out using a colander or strainer.

4) Dump the noodles on top of the cooked ground beef. Dump in both packets of cheese powder, 3 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of milk.

5) Using the flat side of the spatula GENTLY mix everything together until the cheese powder is all incorporated and everything is well mixed. You don't want to stir it too vigorously, you'll smash up your noodles and make it all mushy.

That's it - and it tastes pretty much like a cheeseburger.

I served it with corn on the cob via the microwave. If you have fresh corn, break the ears in half, put them in a glass casserole with about an inch of water. Put the top on, and stick it in the micro for 5 minutes. Turn the corn over half way through the cooking. After the 5 minutes is up, check - depending on the size of your corn, you may need another minute or so. Usually, leaving it in the casserole with the top on is enough steam to finish it up.

And there you go - that's what we ate today.
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