How to cook Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni is a pasta dish that makes use of elbow macaroni as the primary ingredient. At first look, this could be mistaken as the famous Macaroni and Cheese but there is more to this dish than just having pasta and cheese.

Meat is one of its most important components. Ground beef is usually used but others prefer ground pork, ground chicken, and even minced ham. Being a tomato based pasta, Baked Macaroni uses diced tomatoes (or tomato sauce) and tomato paste as well. Capsicum (or bell pepper) and paprika are optionally added to add more flavor and aroma.

The description above makes a regular Baked Macaroni but adding the Mornay sauce (or white sauce as we usually call it) makes it more special. This is a cheese and milk sauce made by combining a roux with milk and adding parmesan and gruyere cheese (or sharp cheddar if gruyere is not available). Then you’ll have rich and creamy pasta ready for baking.

Baked Macaroni

Baked Macaroni

Ingredients

  • 1 lb uncooked elbow macaroni

Meat Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 1 small onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 piece beef cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mornay Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cooking Procedure

  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni according to instructions in the package and intentionally cut the cooking time so that the macaroni is not well done (the macaroni will be fully cooked once baked) then drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the meat sauce by heating a cooking pot and melt-in the butter.
  3. When the butter is hot enough, add the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes or until the color turns medium brown.
  4. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and diced tomatoes then stir and simmer for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the tomato paste and paprika then stir and cook for a minute
  6. Add the beef cube and water then stir until everything is well distributed. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Put-in the sugar, salt, and pepper then mix well. Turn of the heat and set aside.
  8. Prepare the Mornay sauce by melting the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  9. Add the flour stir constantly for about a minute (color must be yellowish and not brown).
  10. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil.
  11. Add salt and pepper then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  12. Stir in the cheeses and whisk until melted. Set aside
  13. Combine the cooked macaroni and meat sauce in a baking dish then toss until the meat sauce is well distributed.
  14. Arrange the macaroni and pour the Mornay sauce over it. (Spread the Mornay sauce over the macaroni and meat sauce mixture ensuring that every space is covered)
  15. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  16. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down a bit.

How to cook Champorado

Champorado is a sweet chocolate rice porridge that uses sweet glutinous rice (locally known as malagkit) and cocoa powder as main ingredients. A more traditional approach would be using tableya (pure cocoa blocks) instead of cocoa powder.

This porridge can be served hot or cold and is mostly eaten during breakfast. This can also be served during mid-afternoon snacks (meryenda) and is best when complimented with Tuyo(salted dried fish).

In this actual presentation, I used special dark chocolate  (the only available ingredient in my kitchen) instead of the ordinary cocoa powder . This made the color of the Champorado darker…don’t be alarmed when the color of the champorado that you are cooking is brownish because that is  the way it should be. I’m just trying to save some money by using ingredients that are directly available . You should do the same thing too.

Champorado

Champorado

Ingredients:

8 tbsp cocoa powder (or about 4 pieces tableya)

1 cup glutinous rice (malagkit)

1/2 cup sugar

3  1/2 cups water

condensed milk (optional)

Cooking procedure:

1. Pour 2 1/2 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil

2. Put-in the glutinous rice and allow water to re-boil for a few minutes

3. Dilute the cocoa powder in 1 cup warm water then pour-in the pot. Stir continously

4. Once the glutinous rice is cooked (about 12 to 18 minutes of cooking with constant stirring), add the sugar and cook for another 5 minutes or until the texture becomes thick.

5. Remove from the pot and place in a serving bowl.

6. Serve hot with a swirl of condensed milk on top.