Stove top mac & cheese sure resembles the blue boxed instant mac & cheese you can buy from the supermarket. As I could not resist blistering anything with cheese and pasta in the oven, I actually had a hard time not finishing off this dish in the oven. After all, it’s the natural thing to do.
But if I did, it sort of defeats the purpose of being “stove top”. Not to mention, “stove top” the “It” mac & cheese of the moment. I better keep up and stick with the program! Since I am on the “It” trend, I might as well add the “It” vegetable of the moment which is kale. (Okay some may think I have just ruined their mac & cheese dream with my kale touch, but since when is there no room for vegetables in comfort food?)
Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese with Kale
(tweaked very slightly from Marie’s recipe)
(Serves 3 to 4 people)
- 200g (about 8 ounces) macaroni (I used San Remo brand macaroni)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour (about 60g/ 2 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt – you may want to omit this if using salted butter
- 1 dash black pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (8oz)
- About 8 stalks of kale, finely shredded
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted Panko/normal breadcrumbs *optional*
Let’s get started:
(1) Finely slice kale and chop garlic. Set aside. (2) Cook macaroni according to package directions in a large pot. Drained and set aside in a large bowl. (3) In the same pot (rinsed and dry), heat some olive oil and saute garlic until it started to be aromatic. Add sliced kale and saute until slightly wilted. Remove the kale from the pot to the same bowl as the cooked macaroni. (4) In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper; #Slowly add milk. (5) Cook and stir until bubble and no longer feels grainy, over low heat. Stir in cheese until smooth and creamy. (6) Add macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir until everything is well mixed. (7) *optional* In a small pan, toast some breadcrumbs until golden brown. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese just before serving.
# Slowly add milk – add about 1/2 cup first, stir until the milk is well combine and smooth with the flour-butter mixture and then add another 1/2 cup, stir to combine and add the remaining milk. This is important to avoid lumpiness in the sauce.