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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Macaroni Cheese: Comfort Food At Its Finest

Sometimes, you just want cheesy comfort food. No, I don't mean corny, I mean with a huge pile of cheese in it. If you don't believe me then look at the picture!

 I made macaroni cheese based on a Soho House found online, which used parmesan as well as cheddar to form a lovely crust on top of the dish. The original recipe, however, used a lot more cheese than my version as I wanted to make it slightly healthier (425g of cheese for four people? I don't think so). I also like to have a bit of bite in the form of piquant chorizo in my macaroni but Soho House's recipe was true to the original meal. I made it because, after a tiring first week, I wanted something deliciously filling and treat-like for supper. Unusually, (for my mac and cheese recipes at least) this dish is placed under the grill rather than cooked in an oven.

Macaroni Cheese Recipe
Serves 4-5.
Preheat grill as hot as possible.
Use English mustard to bring out the flavour of the cheese.
Make sure the pasta is cooked al dente and no further as it will continue to cook once it has all been put together.
350g macaroni pasta
35g butter
35g plain flour
500ml milk (preferably full fat but other types are fine)
1 chorizo ring, diced small
110g (sauce) and 80g (topping) grated cheddar cheese
35g (sauce) 25g (topping) grated parmesan
½tbsp english mustard
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to instructions until it is al dente (with a slight bite to it). Drain well and rinse with water so that the pieces don't stick together as they cool.
Fry chorizo in a pan until fragrant and oily.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a heavy based, grill-safe pan (I use a le cruset casserole) and then mix in the flour.
Slowly whisk in the milk and then allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring all the time, until you have a thick-ish, smooth and glossy sauce, although it will thicken further in the oven so don't worry too much about that part of it.
Now add the sauce amounts of the two cheeses into the pan, along with the mustard and seasoning, and stir until the cheese is melted.
Add the cooked macaroni and chorizo to the sauce and mix well.
Mix the leftover (topping) cheese together and spread evenly over the top before placing the dish under the grill for 15 minutes until the mixture is golden and bubbling.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

What's your classic mac and cheese recipe?


I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know