Last night I decided to make some proper comfort food. It’s gone freezing up North and I was feeling rubbish so needed a food hug!
I’ve made mac ‘n’ cheese before but some sort of self-devised version and my lovely boyfriend got me this boss cookbook for Christmas called New York Christmas by Lisa Nieschlag & Lars Wentrup:-
This book is so lovely – the pictures are so pretty, it has a Christmas short story inside and even Christmas songs inside amongst all the recipes (again with gorgeous pictures)
So this mac ‘n’ cheese looked super-tasty and is the ultimate in food hugs.
- 300g Macaroni
- Salt and Pepper
- A medium onion or 3 shallots, diced
- 100g bacon, diced
- 50g butter (I used a tbsp of olive oil)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml (2 cups) milk
- half tsp Dijon mustard
- Cayenne Pepper
- grated nutmeg
- 200g (2 cups) Cheddar cheese, grated
- 100g (1 cup) Gouda cheese, grated
- 3 large tomatoes (I used around 20 cherry tomatoes)
- 120g (2 cups) of breadcrumbs
First I cooked the macaroni in boiling then simmering water, drained and rinsed with cold water and put it to one side.
I diced the onion and bacon and fried in a pan with a glue of oil (I should’ve used butter considering how unhealthy this meal is anyway but the oil was just there next to the hob)
Once softened, I added the flour and stored so it was mixed in. Then I gradually added the milk, stirring the whole time. Once this was all done, I seasoned with salt & pepper and grated in some nutmeg and threw in a pinch of chilli powder (the recipe states cayenne but I didn’t have any in!) I added the Dijon mustard at this point too and stirred everything together.
Then I let simmer until the sauce thickened.
I added the grated Gouda and Cheddar and mixed this until melted then took the pan off the heat.
I added the chopped tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes that I’d got crazy with my mezzaluna on. I love their sweetness as opposed to normal salad tomatoes.
I then mixed in the cold macaroni.
This then got decanted into my baking dish and I sprinkled over the breadcrumbs. The recipe didn’t state what type of breadcrumbs so I used wholemeal bread mixed with my kitchen must-have Panko breadcrumbs. I keep Panko in a Kilner jar – they’re so handy to add to homemade burgers, meatballs, as a crumb for fish or chicken… I use them in loads of stuff. It just saves on making my own crumbs and I’m all about less washing-up.
I put this in a preheated oven at 180C / gas mark 4 for 30 minutes.
This got served straight away and was DELICIOUS! Best of all, there’s leftovers for tonight’s tea so I can kick back with a glass of red a bit earlier.
I’d be interested if anyone has a go-to mac and cheese recipe that they swear by. It’s wholly an American dish but I know there are variations of it all over.
This one gets a big thumbs up from me!