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What do you do when a meal doesn’t turn out well? Also, flourless mac cheese recipes...

(19 Posts)
minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 14:07:31

I’ve just made macaroni cheese. I was a bit nervous as last time I made a cheese sauce it was floury, so this time I used cornflower and very little of it. It’s gone wrong again sad not floury but instead tastes a bit congealed, I think perhaps I cooked it too long or high in the oven.

Anyway. DC 6 and 4 don’t want to eat it. It isn’t that bad, I ate it and so did foodie DH, it’s not foul (unlike the floury one) it’s just not great. A bit canteen food iyswim. DC age 6 is busy making sick noises hmm.

Would you make them eat it? Or let them leave it but not give anything else (they’ve had some veg and an apple already so won’t starve)? Or give toast (their favourite...). I’m wanting to try out quite a few new recipes and not sure what to do if this happens again.

On a related note, can anyone send me a link to a foolproof, flour free macaroni cheese recipe...?

OP’s posts: |
reallybadidea Sat 16-Feb-19 14:12:34

I wouldn't tolerate any child making sick noises at a meal that I'd cooked.

Anyhow, I don't think that it's the flour in the sauce that's the problem per se, as that's a classic way of thickening a sauce. How are you cooking it? You might be using too much flour or not cooking the roux for long enough.

TeddyIsaHe Sat 16-Feb-19 14:13:23

If your cheese sauce tastes floury it’s because you’re a) using too much flour and b) not cooking the roux out for long enough. Equal weight flour and butter, it’s should be almost liquid, not a big lump of floury butter. And then cook it out for 5 mins on a low heat not allowing it to catch. Then in with enough milk to make it too liquidy and cook it until thick enough. Take off the heat, add cheese and stir till melted. Don’t boil the cheese or it’ll split and be grainy. Season and use.

A flour free cheese sauce I use a pot of creme fraiche heated till bubbling, off heat and stir in cheese and seasonings. So easy! And tastes amazing.

minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 14:22:09

Yes she’s got into lots of trouble for the sick noises and has now apologised.

It really wasn’t floury this time. More just not liquid enough. A bit like it goes when it’s been in the fridge a while. I think I either overcooked the sauce (reduced it too much before adding the cheese) or dried out too much it in the oven - I did 5 mins grilling at the end to brown it more and the sauce looked ok before that, so maybe that was the issue.

I think I’ll stick to the cheesy creme fraiche idea next time, thanks! That’s much more my kind of territory than flour based stuff.

Still though - everyone must make a less than great meal sometimes right? I’m interested in whether you’d expect your family to eat something that wasn’t horrible, but not great either...? If not, I don’t see how I can branch out from the tried and tested recipes other than by throwing lots of food away (hate doing that).

OP’s posts: |
reallybadidea Sat 16-Feb-19 14:29:24

We're a family of 6, so inevitably there are occasions when somebody doesn't like something that's been cooked! I don't expect anyone to eat something that they really dislike, but if they're still hungry then it's fruit or a slice of bread as an alternative. Our rule of thumb when they were little was that they were encouraged to try one small forkful of food for each year of their life before announcing that they disliked it.

minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 19:24:25

Thanks reallybadidea. Yes I think that sounds reasonable, just wondered if it’s different for times when the cooking’s gone a bit wrong rather than just simple dislike. Probably not.

Out of interest if one or more of your DC don’t like a meal you try out, would you cook it again for the family another time, knowing one doesn’t like it? And if so would you provide a different option for them...?

OP’s posts: |
Blondiecub0109 Sat 16-Feb-19 19:29:25

Jamie Oliver has a flourless cheese sauce recipe in his ministry of food cookbook (similar one in 30 minute meals but that is cauliflower mac cheese) instead of a roux it’s creme fraiche with the grated cheese put through

reallybadidea Sat 16-Feb-19 19:39:01

would you cook it again for the family another time, knowing one doesn’t like it?

Tbh with 4 children, if I only ever cooked food that everyone really likes, then we'd have a very limited repertoire! For example, 3 out of 4 like chicken curry, 1 doesn't. So sometimes he has to suck it up! If it's just part of the meal then I might do an alternative, eg cook both rice and noodles as a side dish.

One thing we did try when they were younger was to let them each choose one meal per week - something sensible, not just jam sandwiches grin with the trade off being that they at least try everything else on the other days.

It's not easy, but as they've got older they're all more willing to try new things and tolerate things that they're not particularly keen on. It works both ways too - I don't always particularly like their choices, but it's part of being in a family and compromising.

Sorry, that was a bit long an waffley!

reallybadidea Sat 16-Feb-19 19:41:04

And yes, if I've messed up and the food is less than delicious, I don't make a whole new meal. Food is a precious resource and shouldn't be wasted if possible IMHO.

Magmatic80 Sat 16-Feb-19 19:44:59

I had to throw away today’s half made dinner. I thought I was being clever weighing the flour straight into the other ingredients for corn cakes, but the flour had actual weevils in envy (not envy). I’d already seperated the eggs so we had waffles instead. With Bombay aloo grin

minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 19:47:07

Thanks! Blondie I will look it up.

Reallybad I like that idea of letting them choose once a week, or maybe twice since I have two DC - the trade off being they have to suck it up on other days. And yy I really dislike food waste (partly why I get so upset when a meal goes wrong!)

OP’s posts: |
minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 19:48:13

Oh bleurgh Magmatic. I’ve found those in pasta once. Can’t quite bring myself to think of them as extra protein envy

OP’s posts: |
PinkHeart5914 Sat 16-Feb-19 19:51:01

If Me or dh messed up the cooking of the meal then I’d give the dc eggs or beans on toast instead, as it’s not the dc it’s your cooking that’s the issue.

Out of interest if one or more of your DC don’t like a meal you try out, would you cook it again for the family another time, knowing one doesn’t like it? And if so would you provide a different option for them...?
I’ve got 3 dc so they don’t like all the same food so some nights they might eat a meal that isn’t their favourite but they suck it up. If I only cooked things all of them likes it would be very limited in terms of meals.
I do make allowances like one loves rice but isn’t keen on noodles so when we have rice he has noodles.

No child makes sick noises as my table, not ever it’s rude and we do not have rudeness at the table.

wigglybeezer Sat 16-Feb-19 19:51:59

Sometimes I think the pasta can absorb liquid from the sauce if it's cooked for a long time, I get best results if I heat the dish in the oven and tip the hot sauce and pasta into a very hot dish, it means it heats through quicker and doesn't have time to dry out, if you use a preheated large shallow dish and use pasta and sauce that's fresh cooked and still hot you can get away with just grilling it. Saying that mine comes out differently every time because I don't use recipes and never weigh things, always edible though!

reallybadidea Sat 16-Feb-19 19:52:59

I like that idea of letting them choose once a week

It worked really well for us. They would have a look through recipe books to get ideas, so it encouraged them to try new things and they would often get involved in making it too, when time and parental energy levels allowed!

minipie Sat 16-Feb-19 20:02:56

It was edible, promise! Just not... lovely.
Not sure why I’m defending my macaroni cheese grin

Wiggly that approach would have been better yes. I baked/grilled it 15 min which was on the low side compared with some recipes (one said 45 min??). The pasta wasn’t overcooked, but the sauce was.

Anyway I’ll be able to experiment as I made double quantity sauce shock shock 🙈 so I can use that and see if less baking time helps. Might just eat it on my own next time mind you.

OP’s posts: |
kateandme Mon 18-Feb-19 05:59:52

i dont think you cooked it enough!a mac needs at least 20 -30 mins in the oven.sounds like the sauce wastn cooked through.which might result in the consistency of the in-between.so not cooked and not not cooked.

MotherWol Mon 18-Feb-19 16:12:39

Flourless mac & cheese. Be careful to buy evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Feb-19 17:31:44

If it's not great we do sometimes chuck it and make a sandwich or something. DS1 is 10 so makes his own. He can be a bit fussy though so it's a fine line really - if he's being moany with no reason then he has to eat it. But if even the adults are finding it a bit grim, or it's something completely new then we give him the OK.

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