Thursday, 17 September 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese


This is another really easy recipe. I adapted it from an American 'crockpot' recipe and made it lower in fat. It doesn't look exactly like ordinary mac and cheese, and it isn't quite the same texture as one made with a traditional flour and fat cheese sauce, but it tastes delicious. 

This is the original recipe - 
  

Easy Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This Easy Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is actually SUPER easy like the picture says. It’s basically just dump everything in the crockpot and end up with oozy, cheesy goodness! I recommend stirring it a couple of times while cooking if possible (but not necessary) and start checking it every 15 minutes or so starting at the two hour mark so you can stop cooking when it is to the consistency that you like.

3 cups milk 12 oz can of evaporated milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz brick of cream cheese
16 oz box of elbow macaroni
Place all in crockpot and set heat to low. Cook for 2-3 hours or until noodles are soft and sauce is the consistency you like.

And this is how I adapted it - 

1.5  pints of semi-skimmed milk (30p, from a 4 pint bottle at 2 x 4 pints for £1.50 in FarmFoods)
300ml tub Reduced Fat Creme Fraiche (Aldi 59p)
200ml tub Lighter Soft Cheese (Aldi 49p)
250 g grated Mature Cheddar  (Aldi -250g ready grated cheese for £1.49, I use the full fat as I don't find the reduced fat melts properly)
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (approx 5p)
Black pepper
500g pack macaroni (not sure of price as I bought mine ages ago from Approved Foods)



Instructions as per the original recipe, just dump everything in and set on low, except I kept back 50g of the cheddar to sprinkle on top. 


I found the pint and a half of milk had been absorbed after about an hour so I added extra milk every 15 minutes. Not sure exactly how much more milk as I just splashed some more in, but probably about another 1/2 to 3/4 pint.  It was done after 2 hours when the pasta was nice and soft and the milk mostly absorbed.

Once cooked I tipped the mac and cheese into a casserole dish, topped it with the remaining cheddar and browned it in my halogen oven, although it could be done in a regular oven or under the grill. 


As you can see I substituted creme fraiche for the evap milk and I also added some chopped cooked bacon and finely diced onion. 

 
It made a great big pot full and would easily serve 6 people. Four of us had it for dinner with spinach leaves, cucumber and cherry tomatoes and there's enough remaining for a couple of lunches tomorrow.


4 comments:

  1. I love macaroni cheese. But only me likes it so I tend to do without because I would quite easily, eat the lot!!!

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    1. Fortunately my lot love it and I make it quite often. I do it in different ways, sometimes in the slowcooker, sometimes in my halogen oven (again I can cook everything in one dish), almost always using creme fraiche instead of the traditional way, making a lighter, slightly healthier version.

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  2. I make it in the traditional way and tip into a shallow dish to cool and set. Then slice it into portions and cook it on a griddle. You get lots of crunch and toasted cheese flavour, very tasty with a felafel "burger" on top.

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    1. What a good idea, Pam. Sounds delicious.

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