Monday, 11 July 2011

Macaroni Cheese

The ultimate comfort supper. Just look at it. Bubbling hot from the oven,cheese oozing out, inviting you to have a forkful. While watching the pennies a bit more recently, this plain homely dish often appears on the menu. Little bits of salty bacon added or not as you prefer. Slowly cooked onion adding sweet buttery flavour. A few green leaves for your hearts sake and that's all it takes.

The one thing I am fussy about is the sauce. It needs to be thick as the water from the pasta can dilute it and make the sauce very runny. I want something that sticks to my ribs. If you can be organised enough (I am not but try to make the effort for this.) add a peeled onion chopped in half, a handful of black peppercorns and a couple of torn bay leaves to the milk the night before you make it. Not hugely important but if you try it you will be glad you did. Don't throw the onion away as it can be cooked to go into the dish. We don't want to waste anything now do we?

I use about 75g-100g (3-4 ounces) macaroni per person cooked as per packet instructions. I would like to warn you at this stage that when I cook pasta I could feed the street with it. I never seem to get it quite right.
Now when it is cooked and drained throw in a lump of butter. Yes I know it's supposedly bad for you but nothing tastes quite like it. Now just do it. It's wonderful. Trust me.

Strain the milk if infusing, reserving the onion.
Now finely chop the onion and gently fry in a little oil and butter (yes more butter) for about ten to fifteen minutes in a small pan until it is very very soft and sticky. Keep the heat low and don't let it burn. Set it to the side

For the Sauce

50gms/2 ounces butter
50gms/2 ounces flour
350 mls milk infused as mentioned above if possible
1 large teaspoon of mustard, whatever you have in the cupboard will be fine
A good shake of cayenne pepper
 As much and as varied a choice of cheese(s) as you want. In other words whatever you have in the fridge.
I like to use strong cheddar and parmesan. I also like to top it with mozzarella. Delicious

Melt the butter and then stir in the flour letting it cook for a few moments over a low heat to get rid of the floury taste.
Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and a little milk. keep adding the milk a little at a time and using a whisk get it all blended in.
Return to the heat and keep stirring until it is thick. Then keep stirring until it becomes very thick.
Remove from the heat and stir in the onion, cayenne pepper and your chosen cheese.
Now stir in your macaroni and put it all in a buttered pie dish and top with mozzarella if desired. This bit is not necessary but did I tell you it's delicious?
Set the whole thing on a long piece of oiled foil and pull the foil over the top to form a loose parcel.
Pop into the oven at 180.C/350.F/gas4 and bake for half an hour or so then remove the foil top to let it brown.

Serve with some good for you salad leaves. Enjoy


Gloria said...

Dear Brenda This look absolutely yummm!! gloria

Coby said...

LOL Granny, in spite of my healthy focus these days, I could never resist a mac and cheese of this quality:) And the leaves - they really are a token gesture aren't they?;) I don't know about you, but I could just sit a bowlful of this on my lap on the couch and close my eyes after every mouthful:):)

Rhyleysgranny said...

Gloria - Thank you Gloria x

Coby - Yes you are right the leaves are a token gesture but one must try (sigh)and yes everyone should have a mac cheese moment ;0

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What a good recipe for mac-n-cheese. The crusty brown cheese on top would be pulled off and eaten by me before it even left the oven. Soooo yummy looking.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

totally Glorious!!... I love this kind of thing but it really has to be for very special occasions... just looking at it I can feel my heart flop slightly... I have a good friend who uses really good quality cheeses but right at the end always adds half a block of Velvita cheese, which is an american 'plastic' cheese as I call it... don't know what it does to the dish but it was the best thing i've ever tasted... and nice and thick!... oh you see i'm going to have to make this now!

Neesie said...

Hey....I didn't know that you can have smelloblogs?
(Deep inward breath) can smell the deliciousness.....just by looking at these photo's.
Its winter here in Melbourne, so guess what we're having for dinner tonight. Perfect! Thanks ;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Extremely comforting indeed! I have always loved macaroni cheese. A simple, yet incredibly scrumptious dish. Yours looks fabulous!



Marie said...

Macaroni and cheese is the perfect comfort food. Yours looks fantastic! xxoo

manu said...

Ohhh they're so crispy, I love them!!!! Mhhh my mouth is watering!! Have a nice day

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Oh wow! That sounds and looks heavenly!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Honestly, that looks like the best mac and cheese I have seen in a long time!

Grannymar said...

I know I can't eat it, but it looks yummy! Do you fight over the crispy bits at the edge of the dish?

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Love them x

Dom - I have tried Velveeta and yes it is good. Just don't tell the purists lol.

Neesie - Smellablogs LOL

From Beyond - Yes indeed the crusty bits go. Too tempting to leave aren't they?

Rhyleysgranny said...

Grannymar - Fencing with rolling pins :)

Lesley said...

Oh that looks so gorgeous and a bit more sophisticated than I usually make so I will try it - it's one of my daughter's favourite meals.

Cynthia said...

Ummmm, this looks sooooo good! I am making some of this to take a late-afternoon get-together tomorrow. Ribs will be served too :)

Anonymous said...

This just might be THE mac 'n cheese I've been looking for all my life!

Can't wait to make this!!


Julia Balbilla said...

I know what you mean about overdoing the pasta! I make myself weigh it now and don't get so much waste.

Aoife Mc said...

I love a sauce that sticks to my ribs too :)

Lovely looking Mac 'n' Cheese here, Granny!