Creative name, isn't it? Let me know if you have a better one. Ok- 2 out of 4 kids didn't like this. It's because they don't like homemade mac & cheese- specifically: melted cheese. But the rest of us thought it was wonderful! I've been fasinated with homemade mac & cheese for the last few months. I made it once several years ago, following a recipe online (because I had never had it before- ever, only the boxed junk), it called for a sauce to be made, poured over the pasta and baked. It was gross- the sauce clumped up and didn't taste good either. So when Titus was born, I knew my midwife could make Mac & Cheese- so I asked her to make it while she was here. It was delicious. But this was her husbands preferred recipe, so she told me how she likes- basically, there are a bunch of different ways.
I started watching the food network when I nurse Titus... and they were making mac & cheese- everyone had their own twist, so I started experimenting. I haven't made a bad one yet! Ok, I'll admit that Jesse and Stephen haven't enjoyed my experiments- but Luke has been loving it. Guess it's payback for all the rice dishes I make that they love and Luke despises. So here's my latest and honestly, I think it's my best!
Chicken Mac & Cheese
16 oz pasta, cooked in salted water to al dente, drained (I used Cappelletti this time)
1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, diced (in olive oil- I have the julienne ones, so I had to chop them up some more)
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes and cooked in frying pan, until done.
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar (sharp is good for this, but Med. or Mild is fine too)
3 slices white bread
2 TB parsley flakes
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 TB butter*
Toss pasta and sundried tomatoes, then mix in cheese and chicken. Pour into 9"x13" baking dish.
In food processor:
Tear up bread and put in, add the parsley and parmesan- blend until fine.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the pasta, dot with butter*, bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes at the end- just to brown the top.
*ok, this time I dotted the top with butter- but next time, I'm going to freeze the butter, after I cut it into a couple smaller pieces and then mix it in the food processor with the bread crumbs. The purpose of the butter is to help the bread crumbs brown pretty.
Mozzarella Cheese: $.82
Cheddar Cheese: $1.00
Parmesan Cheese: $.40
Sundried Tomatoes: $.66
Meal total: $6.09
We had enough for 5 big eaters, Naomi and 2 leftover servings: $.87/serving.
I did buy my cheese, Sundried tomato, and Pasta at Costco, which cuts the cost of this dish.