So, continuing my efforts to cook in the Czech Republic, tonight I decided to try and make homemade mac’n cheese.
- Cheddar cheese is hard to find, and expensive
- Cream is also difficult to find
- I am poor
So! For tonight, I had to get a little experimental. In lieu of cheddar cheese I went with the classic (and cheap) Edam (or Eidam as they spell it here). I also added some Balkansy Syr- a feta like cheese that is very popular here. And because I like the taste, I threw in some onion, red pepper, and garlic.
The result was surprisingly not-bad!
Here’s the recipe:
For the mac’n cheese:
- .5 red pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- oil / butter for sauteeing
- 1.5 cups milk
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- chile powder
- pinch of curry powder
- 1 cup Edam cheese
- .5 cup Balkansy Syr
- .25 cup Parmesan Cheese
- Lots of elbow pasta
For the topping
- .75 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs melted butter
- 1 tbs milk
- .25 cup parmesan cheese
- paprika/chile powder to taste
- Pre-heat your oven for about 175 degrees Celcius.
- Cook the elbow pasta to al-dente; set aside.
- Sautee the onions and garlic in butter and olive oil until translucent. Add red peppers and stir, for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the 3 tbs butter until all is melted; stir.
- Add the flour and stir, coating onion mixture evenly.
- Pour in the milk and bring to a gentle boil, stirring continuously all the time. Boil until mixture is reduced and thickened (you want a nice, thick sauce- think heavy cream).
- Add the cheese and stir until it is melted (the balkansy syr might not melt all the way- this is ok!). This is also a good time to add the spices! Go for your personal tastes, but take it easy on the curry powder. You really just want a pinch- no one will taste it, but the sauce will be richer.
- When everything is melted/mixed, add in the pasta, and mix it all together so everything is well coated.
- Add the macaroni mixture to your baking pan. I used a glass Pyrex dish of indeterminate size (maybe around 11/8 inches? Maybe? I don’t speak Czech man I don’t really know).
- In a separate container, mix the ingredients for the topping. Now sprinkle the topping over your mac’n cheese, so that everything is nicely coated in a golden brown crumble. Mmmm.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the topping is sizzling and browned.
PS Here is an unrelated picture of a man dressed in an Indian costume trying to busk in Old Town Square. He was dancing to other busker’s music. We dubbed him the Parasitic Busker.
PPS I totally went on a ghost tour yesterday and LOOK! An orb! Definitely not the result of the flash on my camera or anything.