I often ask my son, Tristan, what he wants for lunch and like a typical teenager he nearly always responds with, ‘I dunno‘. When I was his age I did not have to be asked about my preferences (having likely eaten twice before being asked). The fridge was not safe in our house. The elders commonly bellowed, ‘Get out of the fridge!’ as I grabbed something quickly on the sly. An easy remedy for Mr. T’s lack of decisiveness is always Smoked Salmon Mac & Cheese. At the mere mention of it he lights up more than Christmas morning.
This time I made him help. The kid has to learn to cook because someday I am gong to be over the horizon on a boat and we cannot have him standing in the kitchen till he starves… saying, ‘I dunno‘. My newest sous chef; grabbing items from the fridge, pantry, putting things in the trash, draining, and stirring on my command. All while dutifully watching me do the technical parts and listening to the molecular theory of roux.
I do not really follow a recipe but this is the basic process:
- Stir occasionally: We start with 3/4 stick of butter and fine minced onion. (1/4 onion?)
- Stir occasionally: Start pasta (dealers choice)
- Stir constantly: When onion is translucent add a scoop and a half of flour. (3/4 cup?) Cook the flour till it no longer tastes like flour; more brown and nutty.
- Stir constantly: Add Milk.(2 or 3 cups?)
- Stir constantly: Add cheese – cut into small chunks (2 cups?)
- Stir constantly: Once that gets creamy and the cheese is melted add smoked salmon (bacon/ham/veg/whatever you have) – broken into small/medium chunks (2 cups?)
- Stir occasionally:Remove from heat so it does not thicken up too much. If it does you can recover it some with another splash of milk.
- Drain pasta then fold in the sauce.
- Serve to bowls and finish with crackers or cheese on top. I moved this batch to ramekins so I could broil the top nice and crispy. Topped with cheddar, Greek yogurt (Faye – I only buy plain and replace cheese or sour cream for so many recipes)(I love how it turns to a mild cheese when cooked), and hand crushed Triscuits for some crunch. (I need to do an ode to Triscuits… I eat them so many ways! Nabisco – sponsorship please 🙂 )
We smashed these for lunch… only took about 20 minutes to make and had three servings leftover.
Feel free to send me pictures of your Mac & Cheese. I’ll post them or advise!