Just what a Monday needs. CHEESE.
At some point I started thinking, “wouldn’t it be great if mac & cheese was more portable?” And since it’s important to follow your dreams, I did and this is what I came up with.
Ya know, for those times when you’re running late for something but are really craving mac & cheese. I feel like the rest of the world manages to be on time to things and then there’s me.
How are you people on time? Do you plan to be 15 minutes early everywhere you go, or something? Tell me your ways.
I’m always 2 minutes late to everything. Everything. My whole life. My dad says my mom will be late to her own funeral…so I’m sure it’s just genetic and nothing to worry about. But seriously. I should work on timeliness if I ever want to get a real job. But the good news is I don’t really want a real job. Well, that’s a lie.
I do want a real job but haven’t quite got everything figured out yet. I didn’t think I’d find anything that I liked more than blogging. But then life happened and I did. More on that mid-June. Plan is part time blogger, part time real job.
So Andrew and I went to see the new Fast & Furious movie (Andrew’s pick) Friday night. I thought it was funny. And cried at the end.
But you guys, the people behind us were eating nachos (like the orange-tinted cheese, round chip type) and I couldn’t stand how they smelt. Seriously. AND they were the slowest eaters ever. After that incident I don’t think I can go to the movies again for awhile. I was unreasonably grossed out. It reminded me of summer swim team as a child, which gives me anxiety.
For the sake on my mental well-being, I assure you that these bars have zero nasty orange-tinted nacho cheese and only Cabot sharp cheddar + Parmesan.
And there’s crust, which is something to get all kinds of excited about.
We served these bars with salmon + a raspberry/kale/spinach/chard/golden raisin/feta salad. The feta was added because I live in a world where I take my dairy consumption very seriously and anytime there is an opportunity to add cheese…I do.
Mac & Cheese Bars
Mac & Cheese just became portable.
Yield: 5 mac & cheese bars
Prep Time: 30
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 50 minutes
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup 2% Fage greek yogurt
2 tablespoons cold butter, chopped into small cubes
1 1/2 cups macaroni
1 1/2 cups greens (I used a mix of chard/kale/arugula/spinach)
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
First, make your crust. In a bowl, combine flours and sea salt. Add in greek yogurt and cold butter and use your fingers to incorporated the butter and greek yogurt into the dough. Place wax paper on a flat surface and dump dough out onto it. Top with another piece of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a flat rectangular sheet between the two pieces of wax paper (don't worry too much about making the shape perfect). Place the rolled out dough (inside the wax paper sheets) in the fridge to keep it cool while you make your mac & cheese.
Now make your mac & cheese. In a sauce pan, boil macaroni until al dente. Place greens in the bottom of your colander and strain your pasta so the pasta water + hot pasta wilts the greens. Set aside. In the same sauce pan over medium heat, add butter and quickly whisk in flour. Continue whisking as you add in chicken stock and milk, cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in cheeses, salt and pepper. Once creamy and smooth, add in pasta and stir to coat.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Remove crust from fridge and press it into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan. I let my crust go up the sides of the loaf pan but it wasn't even all the way around. Scoop in pasta and bake 20 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from the loaf pan and slicing.
p.s. I let my mac & cheese loaf cool almost completely in the fridge before removing from the loaf pan and slicing. I'm not sure the bars would come out in one piece if they were still warm. After slicing I reheated them before serving.