x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

30 in 30: Macaroni and cheese

A meal for two that costs less than Dh30, ready in no more than 30 minutes. This week: Macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and cheese. Courtesy Scott Price.
Macaroni and cheese. Courtesy Scott Price.

A meal for two that costs less than Dh30, ready in no more than 30 minutes.

Macaroni and cheese

Fresh ingredients:

1 tomato

Dairy:

75g Gruyère or cheddar cheese

300ml milk

Dry ingredients:

1 small packet macaroni

1 jar Dijon mustard (optional)

Total cost: Dh29.15

Method:

Fill a large pan with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Add 200g macaroni and cook for two minutes less than the time specified on the packet. Drain and rinse well in cold water (this should prevent the pasta from sticking together).

Meanwhile, turn your grill up high. Finely grate the cheese, slice the tomato and lightly butter a suitably sized oven-proof dish.

Melt 25g of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, stir in 25g of plain flour (I used whole-wheat), followed by a tablespoon of Dijon mustard (or to taste).

Cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk, until you have a smooth sauce. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes until the sauce thickens, then add three quarters of the cheese. Stir until the cheese dissolves and remove from the heat. Season with salt and black pepper.

If you happen to have a couple of spare slices of bread, blitz them: instant breadcrumbs.

Combine the macaroni and the sauce and tip into the prepared dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs (if using), arrange the tomato slices on top and scatter over the remaining cheese. Place under the grill for 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.

The Dh30 recipe works on the premise that you already have the most basic of store cupboard or fridge staples - items such as oil for cooking and dressing, vinegar, butter, salt and pepper and in this case plain flour - at your disposal.