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Here at Sensei Cooks I write about my adventures in the kitchen and sometimes in the dojo.

I have a love for cooking and want to explore all the possible facets of it. Leave no stone unturned so to speak.

I am Vegan and love all types of vegan cooking.

I love the process of cooking. Being in the moment. Sort of Zen and the Art of Cooking.

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Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese

So anyone who has read any of my posts on Muse in the Kitchen or here knows that my 6 1/2 year old, Dylan lives on Mac and Cheese. We put sweet potato purée or butternut squash into it but still he has it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Okay so not quite so much but I am sure he would if he could. I was very proud of him yesterday as we went to a Buddha’s Vegetarian restaurant in downtown Toronto for Chinese New Year. He tried lots of different items, all vegetarian of course. He really liked quite a few of the dishes. Tiny restaurant (hole in the wall kind of place) but great food. The prices were unbelievable. We took home boxes of food and the meal for 10 people was under $100. Can’t understand how they do that. Everyone loved it except Sean who is not a fan of Chinese food and especially vegetables but he did find some things to eat and I made snacks later when we got home.

Back to Mac and Cheese. We went to Disney for New Year’s 2009 and the thing Dylan says was the best part was the Mac and Cheese we had at Wolfgang Pucks in Downtown Disney. Not the rides, not the storybook princesses (one gave him a big kiss and left lipstick on him), not the beautiful hotel or swimming pool, fireworks or beaches, no, it was the mac and cheese. I saw this on the cover of Fine Cooking and asked him if he would give it a try. It is baked so it does not look like our regular mac and cheese. He said he would love to try it.  Anytime Dylan is ready to try something new, we have act fast. So here is my version – pretty Dylan safe, of Fine Cooking’s Mac and Cheese.

Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Fine Cooking Feb/Mar 2010

Sea salt
300 gm fusilli pasta (any pasta will do here, I just happened to have this and no elbow pasta)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (mix of white and orange medium cheddar)
1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Place rack 4″ from broiler and set broiler on high.
Bring a salted pot of water to boil and add pasta cooking for the time on the package (8 minutes).
Melt the butter at medium heat in an oven-proof skillet.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, whisking the entire time.
Whisk in the milk, whisking constantly for 5-8 minutes, until thickened.
Add the cheese(not the Parmesan), mustard, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Whisk until the cheese is melted and smooth. (2 minutes)
Add the pasta, stir to coat all the pasta.
Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.
Top with Parmesan cheese and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes. (keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn)

Mac and Cheese

Not a great picture but someone started digging into it before I could  find the camera. It was really good and Dylan had it for breakfast the next day too. It is not burned, just browned but the angle of the picture and the shadow of the range vent makes it look darker then it was.

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3 comments to Quick Skillet Mac and Cheese

  • Gee, I bet you could have saved a ton of money by not taking Dylan to Disney! :–) Next time, just take him to Wisconsin! They give you cheese all over everything!

    I am actually sympathetic to Dylan. I can’t think of a better food except for perhaps a grilled cheese sandwich! :–)


    Ward Reply:

    He loves a grilled cheese sandwich too! How are you two related??? It must be the book thing. He is getting into reading and doing very well. As you know very well, Belle is a READER, reads more books then the rest of the street put together and has to read manuscripts for work. You would think after a full day of reading and indexing she would not want to read anything, but for relaxation, she reads and reads and reads. Amazing. She never ceases to amaze me.

    But he did love Disney, he just did not know any of the characters. My fault. I decided to give up TV 18 years ago and have not had it since. I have over 1250 DVD and VHS movies but no Cable or TV channels. I don’t miss it but sometimes I feel like I am depriving Dylan of an education. There are so many good educational channels out there. We keep talking about getting satellite and maybe we will. Since we are home schooling Dylan, it might be a good idea. I am just afraid I will end up sitting in front of the TV and watch cooking shows from morning to night and get nothing done all day!

    I think this another post, not a comment!

    Never been to Wisconsin…. What is the big attraction there?


    rhapsodyinbooks Reply:

    Wisconsin is a beautiful state but its best recommendation, as far as I’m concerned, is that it is a veritable mecca for fans (however loathe to admit it to their doctors) of cholesterol! Wisconsin is The Dairy State, and their cheeses are the best in the country (in my opinion), their frozen custard is the envy of every other state, and basically, Wisconsinites are not into being svelte at the cost of foregoing butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, and all permutations thereof!

    I suppose other people might like Wisconsin for the scenery, the lakes, the fishing, the hiking, and so on, but I would have to go with the quality of the dairy products!


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