From soup to bite-size fried balls and grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese can make an appearance in numerous forms this fall season. And this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week gives you 25 different ways to keep this classic comfort food dish alive in your household. Start with the basics and then experiment:
On Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off, Rachael and Guy coach teams of talented kid chefs to culinary victory. Here on FN Dish, we’re serving up some of the mentors’ best family-favorite, cook-together recipes in a friendly face-off. Whose dish scores more points with your family? Cast your votes below!
Up first is a comfort food all-star beloved by kids and adults alike: Macaroni and Cheese.
If you have picky eaters, try updating a classic that most kids can’t get enough of. They’ll have a built-in veggie and you’ll eat a meal in peace (probably). Update your favorite mac and cheese recipe by adding 3 cups of chopped cauliflower or grated carrots to the pasta water when there’s still about 3 minutes left to cook. Continue with the remainder of the recipe, adding an extra 1/2 cup of milk to the cheese sauce so everything stays nice and moist. Note: Cauliflower works especially well for anyone going through a “white food-only” phase (and if you are, I hear you).
Keep going? Crumble 1/2 cup of extra-firm tofu or mashed white beans into the pasta as you mix it together with the cheese sauce. Instant protein, undetected.
But if presentation is what inspires your brood, as it often does from the booster seats here, try individually baked ramekins. Or save time by scooping this creamy goodness into little dipping bowls and stacking them on top of each child’s plate. Who knew invisible veggies could be so cute?
Fried Mac and Cheese
Shape the cold mac and cheese into meatball-sized balls and place them onto a waxed paper-lined tray. Freeze the balls 2 hours or overnight. Beat 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water together to form an egg wash, and pour it into a shallow bowl. Combine panko and herbs in another shallow bowl. Remove the mac-and-cheese balls from the freezer. Dip the frozen balls into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs. Put the balls back into the freezer until you are ready to fry, or heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy-duty pot to 350 degrees F. Fry the mac-and-cheese balls until they are golden brown and center is hot, about 5 minutes.
St. Paddy’s Day Mac
Make Classic Mac, steeping the milk with 1 tablespoon pickling spice wrapped in cheesecloth instead of the bay leaf, and use all Irish farmhouse cheddar instead of regular cheddar. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped corned beef and 1 1/2 cups chopped boiled cabbage. Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with an additional 1/4 cup grated Irish cheddar. Broil until melted, 1 minute.
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them in three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of them as picture recipes.
There is nothing better than snuggling up to a big bowl of mac and cheese. We’ve taken this classic comfort food and spun it in four fun and different ways. From French onion to dessert mac and cheese, these twists might change your view on an old favorite.
You’d never know this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week was actually a lightened-up version of a comfort food classic. Food Network Kitchens used Muenster, sharp cheddar and Parmesan and mixed in pureed cauliflower for extra creaminess in Food Network Magazine‘s Three-Cheese Macaroni.
Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food — especially in the fall when the weather starts to turn cool. How you make that macaroni and cheese, however, is the real question. Whether you whip some up from a box and cook it on the stove, or make a baked recipe from scratch, a plate of this gooey, cheesy goodness is sure to make you melt.