Monday, February 3, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese with Crunchy Kale Topping

My husband's childhood friend recently cooked dinner for us and his family ( He also happens to be a chef, so we usually let him do the cooking when he comes over). He likes to do it, and we reap the benefits of a delicious meal with good friends.
Though he made a different pasta dish, I watched him top it with kale and breadcrumbs and I was, I admit, skeptical. I would have stirred the kale into the whole mix, and I was picturing  the kale turning into a soggy, sloppy mess.
Well. Don't question the chef! He pulled it out and the kale was crunchy and salty and delicious. Just like the kale chips we all know and love. He made kale chip casserole.  This dish is inspired by his.
1 package of pasta, cooked and drained
1 onion, diced
2 cups of cheese
1.5-2 cups of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups of milk
1 tbsp oil or butter
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
Place your cooked pasta in a large casserole dish. Meanwhile, saute the onion until soft, and stir into the pasta.
In a small sauce pan, heat the oil. Stir the flour into the oil quickly and brown slightly, but do not burn. Add the milk and whisk continuously until hot. Whisk in the cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and salt and pepper to taste.
Top the pasta with a sprinkle of cheese, the kale and breadcrumbs and a dash more salt. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake another 8 minutes.

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