Ria's Collection: BAKED MAC & BEANS

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Baked Mac & Beans
I did my undergrad from Mount Carmel College in Bangalore and pretty much anyone who've studied there around that time would be familiar with Raj shop on Loafer's Lane / Vasanthnagar. He makes the best ever Mexican Chaat and he is the only person whom I know that makes it. It was one of our indulgence during the hostel days when we would try to restrict our spending within our pocket money. My other indulgence was the Sweet Chariot's Chocolate Mousse Cake which I later mastered in making and was super duper thrilled about it . You can read about it here...my post from way back in 2009.
Baked Mac & Beans
In February, while Jobin was in Bangalore for work, we joined him and spent close to 2 weeks roaming around town dining at new restaurants and revisiting our old favourite restaurants.So one day, I asked him if he could take to me Raj's shop to eat a Mexican Chaat. I was not really sure if the joint was still open. When we reached there, the shop was open and Raj was inside bossing around the girls who came to buy the goodies from his store. He is known for the way he talks with the college girls. When I asked him for a Mexcian Chaat he was like,'What are YOU doing here now?'. It's been 11 years since I last visited that store and nothing has changed. Nothing at all!
Baked Mac & Beans
One of my favourite past time is to play some videos on Youtube while I cook or pretty much do anything around the house. Cooking videos are my current favourite and I happened to chance upon this one by Ruchi. She made me want to give it a try at home and I am really glad that I did! As I was eating spoonfuls of the piping hot pasta just out of the oven, I was reminded of a very familiar taste. I couldn't for some reason figure out what that was and then when I reached the rock bottom of the bowl, while scraping out the leftover baked sauce I realized that it tasted like Raj's Mexican Chaat!
Baked Mac & Beans
Ruchi makes her Bechamel sauce a.k.a White sauce in a different way. It's much easier and tastes good. I couldn't find the proportions to the ingredients for her recipe so I have added and decreased the ingredients the way I thought we would like it. It's a very forgiving recipe, so feel free to play with it. With all the beans and oregano in it, it does have a Mexican taste to it.
Baked Mac & Beans Serves 2-3

1 1/2 cup cooked macaroni

1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 large cloves garlic, made to a paste
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup baked beans (tinned)
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco,Cholula)
Salt & pepper

Shredded Cheddar, as needed

Method: In a saucepan, mix together cornflour, butter and milk. Cook on medium heat till it boils becomes thick. Set it aside.
In a saute pan, heat the butter and saute the onion till soft and translucent. Add the garlic paste and give it a mix. Add the remaining vegetables and saute for a minute or two. Then add in the beans, ketchup, oregano, red chili powder and hot sauce. Cook for 2-3 minute or until it thickens up. Turn off the heat and mix in the white sauce. Add the cooked pasta and mix well.Season to taste.

Transfer this mixture into a small baking dish and top it with cheese. Bake at 180 C/ 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Serve hot and enjoy!

So Zara thinks no matter what I cook, it is all for her. She will not keep quiet until I let her taste it. So today,she got her first share of pasta. She wasn't very sure about the texture of the pasta so she gave me a wide toothless grin while chewing it.It's really funny to see her push the food back into her mouth if it happens to comes outside.She is seriously one joker who loves to try everything. She thinks we all need to eat the same food,adult food that is! I am waiting for Ian to get back from his Montessori to listen to his 'dialogues' about this dish. He loves pasta,so he might like this too.


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