Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Comfort Food: Creamed Macaroni
I'm at home with a cold today - sniffle, sniffle. I feel utterly down, and the only thing I'm craving is comfort food of some kind. And for me, that usually involves a) pasta and b) something creamy. This is an old Swedish classic that's extremely comforting - but I'm sorry to say I don't have an exact recipe because it's one of those things that's just "in my hands".
So. What you need is milk, macaroni (the elbow kind, preferrably rather large), a little butter, salt and white pepper. Some will add nutmeg, but I never do.
Use about twice as much milk as macaroni - if one cup of macaroni, then you want two cups of milk. Melt a pat of butter in a saucepan, and add the milk. Bring to a simmer, add the macaroni and stir well. Now, keep this at a low boil, stirring every once in a while since milk is tricky - it burns easily or it might try to escape the pan when you least expexct it. Boil until the macaroni are very soft and the milk mostly absorbed. If it looks too dry, add more milk. If it's too liquid, boil for longer. (Or, if you must, add a little flour or cornstarch towards the end.) Add salt, and lots of finely ground white pepper.
Eat. It's perfect with grilled (or fried) hot dogs. I know it doesn't look like much, but it's so very tasty.
And some people do this another way - boil the macaroni in water as usual, make a thick white sauce, combine. To each their own.