I feel that I prefer to make quick and easy appetizers that my kids can eat during Ramadan. I do try to keep my “dastarkhwan” (traditional cloth where food is eaten, can be used broadly to refer to the dinner table as well) healthy but my kids do not want to hear about healthy shmealthy for the first few fasts. I trick them by making things they love and then switching to things they would file under “do-not-hate-even-though-not-fried-and-greasy”.
Macaroni and cheese are one of the most popular comfort food all around the world. Easy and cheesy they never go wrong. This version makes them into an absolute crowd-pleaser and a finger food, double win!!! Another reason for this recipe’s star status is its versatility. You can substitute the chicken for whatever you have available. From left-over roast chicken to turkey, beef or anything you want to experiment with. This recipe is ideal for ramadan because you will have a bunch of leftovers, almost everyday (believe me!!)
- 1 1/2 cups (270g) macaroni
- 1 cup shredded chicken( I used leftover chicken nuggets)
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 60g butter
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
- 3 cups (750ml) milk
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) grated cheddar
- 1/4 cup (20g) shredded mozzarella
- 2 Eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 cups (150g) breadcrumbs or fresh (made from day-old bread) breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
- Grease and line a flat pan. Don’t worry if you don’t have that , you can use any flat surface.
- Cook the pasta following packet directions or until al dente. Drain well and keep aside.
- Turn the stove on medium-high. In a large saucepan heat the chicken, for a few mins or until crisp. Add the spring onions. Cook for one minute or until the spring onions are soft and then transfer to a bowl. At this point you can also add some spices to the chicken according to your taste. (Note: I used shredded chicken nuggets and they were already seasoned so i skipped this step)
- In the same saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add mustard powder and 1/2 cup of the flour. Cook while stirring, for 2 mins or until the mixture bubbles.
- Gradually add milk and stir constantly using a whisker to avoid creating any lumps, cook for 5 mins or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
- Stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese.
- Add the pasta and chicken mixture and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the surface.
- Place in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight or until firm.
- When ready turn the pasta onto a clean work surface. Cut into small square pieces using a sharp knife.
- Place remaining 1 cup (150g) flour in a shallow bowl. Place egg in a separate bowl.
- Combine the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper to taste and place in a separate bowl.
- Dip 1 pasta square in the flour to lightly coat. Dip in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture to coat. Repeat with remaining squares, flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
- Heat enough oil to a medium frying pan. Heat over medium heat.
- Cook half of the croquettes first to avoid over crowding the pan. Cook for about 5 mins or until golden brown and heated through.
- Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
- Repeat with remaining croquettes.
Aa jao “chicken valay mac’n’cheese croquettes” tayyar hai!!