Fine Dine Love

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4 Food Bloggers Share their Twists on the Good Ol’ Mac & Cheese

21 Jan , 2016  

When you’re in the mood for a little culinary comfort, nothing can beat the time-tested combination of cheese and carbs. And among all the glorious dishes available, few are as perfect as a bowl of mac and cheese to drown your sorrows in.

Here with variations of their own, four food bloggers tell us how they tweak the dish when it’s a little comfort (and a lot of cheese) they’re after…

Fine Dine Love

Image Credits: Perzen Patel

1. Perzen Patel AKA @BawiBride and her mac and cheese with a Parsi twist

Parsis can’t live without their meat, so my mac and cheese features chicken (and sometimes bacon if I am feeling extra indulgent). I follow the standard recipe but add in a load of shredded chicken that’s been marinated in ginger, garlic and green chillies, along with a mix of dried herbs. While making the white sauce, I don’t add any flour and, instead, just make a sauce of butter, milk, cream and cheese. Doing so means that the sauce doesn’t dry out during baking (I pop mine in the oven to get that delicious, crisp layer of browned cheese on top) and you still get a moist mac and cheese when you bite into it.

2. Tarika Singh AKA @tarikasingh and her healthy mac and cheeseFine Dine Love

My boyfriend loves mac and cheese and I make it for him really often. The thing is, he loves the full-fat version—lots of cheese… the works! To make it a little healthier, I secretly cut down on the amount of cheese I use, but do so without compromising on taste. I use great quality, sharp cheddar—the sharpest I can find. The stronger the cheese, the less you have to use! I also use great parmesan but, instead of putting it in the sauce, I put more of it on top of the final dish, so it tastes stronger. This way, I’ve used less cheese but my boyfriend hasn’t a clue! The only thing I can’t get away with? Substituting the béchamel with cauliflower puree, which I do when I’m making the dish for myself. That and using whole wheat pasta.

Tarika’s tip: Use garlic powder in the béchamel for a stronger garlic flavouring.

3. Riya Patel AKA @msyumtum and her South Indian mac and cheese

Image Credits: Riya Patel

Image Credits: Riya Patel

Living away from home for the last three years, there are days when I get really homesick, and mac and cheese always comes to the rescue. But one day, I was feeling a bit experimental and remembered the heaps of sambar powder I had brought back with me from my last visit to Bangalore. It may sound odd, but I decided to make a South Indian version of the great mac and cheese. I used the sambar gravy instead of regular cheese sauce and topped it with potato crisps, herbs and, of course, lots of cheese. It tasted a lot like the typical Kannadiga bisi bele bath but with cheese! It was total comfort food and just what I needed that evening!

4. Zenia Irani AKA @Branded Bawi and her easy peasy mac and cheeseFine Dine Love

Since I am a lazy cook, I’ve devised a microwave version of mac and cheese. I first cook the elbow pasta in a bowl of water in the microwave. Once the pasta is cooked, I add milk, chopped and grated cheese, and the pasta into a mug. I pop this back into the microwave for an additional minute. The result is a gooey, cheesy, microwave meal for one! Top with paprika or oregano for more flavour. I sometimes add chopped, leftover sausages for a meaty twist.


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Freyan Patel is a Mumbai-based freelance writer who nourishes her fixation with good grammar by writing high school-level English textbooks by day and fretting over typos in tweets by night. She also indulges her unhealthy obsession with food by eating, dreaming of, and occasionally writing about it in her free time. She likes funny people, reality TV, words that are fun to say, pina coladas (but isn't too keen on getting caught in the rain), and anyone who gets her references to corny retro songs.

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