Sat 18 Nov 2006
A while back I started writing about our latest big feed ... at least we didn't have to wait a week and a bit in between the carrot and almond soup and the second course!
Main was steak with roast veggies and ... macaroni cheese. Oooo, Andy was unhappy ('it's just wrong'), Jenny was thrilled and I was ... well, aside from cooking it ... ambivalent. If I've ever had mac cheese before I don't remember it ...
Of course, at Eating Leeds, we're not just having mac cheese - we're using Neil Perry's recipe for mac cheese, which can be found in the November issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Because we were eating this as a side dish I did muck around with quantities somewhat.
First off, I cooked approximately 150g of macaroni in the usual fashion (salted water on a rocking boil), and then drained it. I forgot to refresh it with cold water (had a glass of cava to attend to instead), but even though the pasta stuck together at this stage it wasn't an issue. It separated relatively easily by hand, and by the time it got to combinining it with the other ingredients it came apart easily.
To make the sauce I diced a couple of rashers of bacon and fried them up, before setting aside on some draining paper. A quick wipe out of the pan, before adding 200mL of cream which I brought up to the boil, before adding 100g of Leerdammer (I know! - it was the only soft, sort of European style cheese the supermarket had that wasn't riddled with E-numbers - the recipe calls for gruyere) that I'd chopped finely, 50g of grated cheddar and a clove of crushed garlic. I turned the heat down and stirred it all until it was melted together. I then stirred in a good heaped teaspoon-ful of Dijon mustard and a dash of paprika and then tipped in the macaroni and the bacon. Stir well, until thick and melthy and eat as little as possible as you go. Finally, a quick sprinkle of parsley, before putting it into a baking dish and topping with a generous portion of dried breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 200C and serve.
And yes, it is wrong ... but so very, very good! Wash down with a good red - in our case a 2001 Convento Barolo. Mmmmmm!
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