17 September 2010

Macaroni Cheese and a lovely salad dressing!

This evening's dinner was a real treat.  We don't have it often because of the calories involved - but as we're all cheesehounds, it always goes down very well.

I had a bit of a challenge with this one, as hubby had declared that he hadn't really enjoyed my previous incarnations of Macaroni Cheese, so I was determined to do the best I could with this one.  I knew I had to make sure the Macaroni was cooked just that tad past al dente, the sauce was suitably cheesy, you could just taste the English mustard, and that the sauce was sufficient from a quantity point of view.  But then, a dry Macaroni Cheese is no fun for anyone.

MACARONI CHEESE (serves 4-5)

Ingredients :

2 tbsp butter
350g macaroni
half a pack of smoked streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, diced fine
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tsp English mustard powder
3 tbsp plain flour
500ml whole milk (and a bit extra, in case of need)
250g mature cheddar, grated
10 g parmesan, grated
50g breadcrumbs.

Method :

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 190deg C (fan).  Boil the pasta for 2 mins less than stated on the pack.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon and set aside.  Then add the onions to the fat left by the bacon and fry gently - without colouring - until they are soft.

3.  Grate in the garlic clove and cook for 1 minute more.

4.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the  milk until you have a lump-free sauce.  Add the mustard and whisk in, along with some black pepper.

5.  Simmer for 5 mins, whisking constantly until thickened.  Take care that it doesn't begin to burn on the bottom of the pan.

6.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese, stir until it is melted, then add the bacon and stir in.  Taste to check the seasoning.

7.  Stir in the drained pasta, then decant into a large casserole dish and scatter over the breadcrumbs.

8.  Place into the oven and bake for 20-30 mins until crisp, golden and bubbling at the edges.

From a personal point of view, I enjoy a side salad with my Macaroni Cheese as I find the pasta itself can get a bit samey towards the end, plus the cheese sauce can get a bit much without a flavour to counter its richness.

So I decided upon a small mixed salad with a honey & mustard dressing.  The dressing I made from scratch, using :

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
half a tsp of whole grain mustard
1 tsp of runny honey
salt & pepper

I just put them all in a cup and whipped them up with a fork.  It was the kind of dressing that I could easily eat by the spoonful without any salad and I was correct in my thought that it would complement the main dish.  It did so very well indeed.


  1. Do you know the other thing l love about this Blog. It's the dishes, and Italian dishes at that, which l rarely make or eat, as with the Macoroni Cheese.
    I usually, for myself, that is, finish up make'in Pasta a Olio. Basically, Cooked Spaghetti, oregano, and drizzled with olive oil.
    AND, what is nice to put in as well, are anchovies, which have been heated and melted down, and then all mixed together. Sorry not explained as well as you Jenny, but that's the jist of it, and l do eat pasta at least once a day...mmmM! :-)
    Thankyou for the compliment....I'm afraid l do cause a stir, in most places l go, once seen never forgotten l suppose...It's all good fun, and it earns me a lot of business...!

  2. Anchovies! Ooooh, we love anchovies. :) They're one of those things that, if I've got a little pot with some leftover anchovies in the fridge, they'll begin to disappear, anchovy by anchovy, as we just HAVE to have a flavour of them. LOL That sounds like an easy lunch dish, Willie. We've got oregano growing in the garden, so that would be even nicer!

    Speaking of business - what sort of business is it that you're in, then?

  3. ooooh!...Being Sicilian....Can't tell you that...
    Horses heads and all......'Make you an offer you can't refuse'
    But, it is mentioned it in my Blog, which has been up and runn'in for 20 mths now, and has had some 8,000 viewings. Don't tell me your the only person who has'nt read it......Shame.....Though l think it's the FBI who keep their eye on it...
    Ally, a friend of mine did it for me, it's briefly about me, and has only changed a couple of times.......BUT...I am think'in of starting another one, if l can get the hang of it.....I was thinking of calling it :----------- (Don't Laugh).
    'Road Kill, Is Their a Need For It'
    Great..Lovely....Love to laugh....!
    So, if you have'nt seen the Blog/Profile, Check it out, you'll need about half hour.....Ha!
    Make sure you've plenty of bagels...! :-)
    So it's........williewine.blogspot.com/
    Oh! they were sell'in fresh figs, this morn'in in Poole, 3 for £1....so l got 6.....They did'nt last long....!

  4. Mmmmmm that looks and sounds so good.

  5. Hiya! Yes, it is evry bit as good as it looks. Relatively cheap, too, if you balance it against a piece of beef. LOL


I love to receive messages from you all, so if you can spare the time, comment away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...