Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe: Pesto Mac 'n' Cheese

This one is an old stand-by, super easy to make, incredibly tasty, and requires next to nothing in the effort department.  While I don't use actually macaroni noodles, you certainly could.

Pesto Mac 'n' Cheese


Block of Cheese
Pesto Seasoning Packets

At Camp
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Meanwhile, cut the cheese into cubes.  Drain the pasta, retaining a little water (this will serve as the base for the sauce).  Return to heat and mix in the seasoning until the pasta is coated thoroughly.  Add cheese and serve.

As should be obvious in such a simple recipe, the cheese is a big player in this dish!  I prefer to use a white Italian cheese, such as mozzerella, provolone, or parmesean.   The length of time you need your ingredients to last before use will affect your options.  If you will be using the cheese immediately (like for the first night's dinner), shredded cheese is extraordinarily convenient.  If it will be a few days, the harder the cheese is the longer it will last without refrigeration.  I prefer a block of parmesean as I can get it to last a week or more without refrigeration if needed.

A couple other notes about cheese:  It will keep longer if you don't touch it.  For example, if you have a two-pound block of cheddar that's going to get used in both calzones and burritos, when you cut it the first time, avoid direct skin contact with any cheese that you are saving for later.  Your natural skin oils speed the spoilage process.

Second, clean up is much easier if you don't actually melt the cheese under heat in the communal cooking pot.  Instead, at serving time add the cheese to each person's individual bowl.  It won't be quite as warm and melty, but you also won't have burnt cheese in your oatmeal the next morning because you couldn't clean the pot well after dinner.

Finally, veggies, canned chicken, and crushed red pepper are all great additions to this meal.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! You are very creative with your camp foods!