Wow, I've been browsing lots of food blogs over the last few months and lots of people have done various versions of Macaroni Cheese. To me Macaroni cheese is one of my favourite and easy meals to cook, it reminds me of coming home in the winter and helping my mum to make the cheese sauce. Its one of those yummy and satisfying dishes, that completely means home. After the disaster of the courgette lasagne last week I wanted something pasta that I knew I could cook! I also wanted to enter something to Presto Pasta Nights, so I hope this is ok! You can find all their lovely pasta dishes here: http://www.prestopastanights.com/
I also did a cookery course at Leiths Cookery School a couple of years ago and that was one of the recipes that I've continued to make time and time again, I tinker with the recipe depending on what is in my store cupboard and because I've made this so many times I do it by eye rather than measuring things out. So without further a do I give you Macaroni Cheese:
I had a fantastic time with my niece and sister at the end of last week and actually made a coffee cake for my brother-in-laws birthday which was a huge success, enjoyed by almost every member of his family! I also went shopping in Bath, where they have a wonderful cook shop called Kitchens, needless to say I went a bit crazy! I bought a cuisinart mini blender, a mixing bowl and some American measuring cups, which will come in handy when using recipes from the Internet.
On Friday night I met up with a Friend and we went to Imperial Bento in the centre of Peterborough for dinner, this is called a buffet meal, but its not a buffet in the conventional style. The waiters give you a menu and you can choose as many dishes as you like from it, but they must be eaten in the correct order, ie once you've chosen your second course, you can't then order another first course. The food was fantastic, really really tasty. For the first course we ate noodle wrapped prawns, ham and prawn (dragon) rolls, salt and pepper squid and satay chicken, this was followed by crispy Peking duck, and then finally we shared beef with green peppers, prawns with ginger, Asian stir fried greens, noodles with bean sprouts and rainbow fried rice. We were both very full after eating all that food but it was delicious and I was in very good company too. No pictures unfortunately! It was all eaten too fast!
I am also trying to clear out my freezer a little bit and keep things circulating. So I had a mini dim sum platter of things that had been sat in my freezer for a while. All of the stuff was shop bought so I can't claim any credit for it but it was a delicious lunch!
Gyoza, duck spring roll, tempura battered prawns, sesame prawn toast, wonton.
Macaroni Cheese Recipe (from Leiths)
110g smoked bacon, chopped
oil for frying
20g plain flour
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of dry English mustard
425ml fresh milk
salt and pepper
110g strong cheddar cheese, grated
85g stilton, crumbled
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Cook the macaroni according to packet instructions, drain well and rinse under boiling water.
In a frying pan, fry the bacon in a small amount of oil until golden brown, put on a bit of kitchen roll to get rid of the extra oil.
Melt the butter in a different saucepan on a low heat and add the flour, cayenne pepper and mustard, cook stirring for one minute. remove from the heat, pour in the milk a bit at a time and stir, turn the heat up and return to heat and stir all the time until the sauce has thickened.
Stir the macaroni into the sauce and reheat if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in all but 1tbsp of the cheddar, all of the Stilton, the bacon and the chives. Put the mixture into an oven proof dish.
Mix the remaining cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the sauce.
Grill fairly quickly until the top is browned and crisp.