One snow day, Genevieve clamored to eat macaroni and cheese for lunch. Usually, leftovers in the fridge that need to be eaten take precedence over such requests. This is good thrifty training.
However, Genevieve ran and got her dolly kettle and put it on the stove and kept begging to make mac and cheese until I recalled Leila's easy stovetop recipe. And I typed up the recipe for her and she made mac and cheese for us! She has happily repeated the process several times since then.
Genevieve likes to have help pouring out the hot pasta water and yesterday she complained that her arm hurt from stirring the double batch she insisted on making, but otherwise, she does this recipe herself.
I stay nearby, though, because she is still learning to read her recipe over and over to stay on track and make sure she is prepared for the next step in the recipe. She is 8 years old, as a point of reference for cook training.
|I made my serving into chili-mac. So delicious.|
Here is the recipe as I typed it up for my apprentice cook.
Genevieve's Macaroni and Cheese (tweaked just a little from Leila)
2 cups small, dry pasta
½ cup milk, preferably at least 2%
¼ cup hot pasta water from boiling pasta
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. dry mustard
few grinds black pepper and maybe more to taste
1/2 tsp. salt plus more for the pasta water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 1/3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese or maybe a mix of 2 cheeses
1. Fill pan with water half full. Add 2 small spoons of salt. Put lid on and bring to boil. Put pasta in. Cook with lid off on high heat for 5-7 minutes until pasta is al dente.
2. Scoop or pour out ¼ cup pasta water.
3. Drain rest of pasta in colander in sink. Return it to hot pan.
4. Over low heat, add 1 Tbsp. butter and stir until melted.
5. Mix pasta water with ½ cup milk, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, ¼ tsp. dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over pasta and butter in pan, stirring.
6. Cook and stir until sauce is thick.
7. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with a smile!