Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Macaroni Cheese Recipe.. at last!

Here at last is my recipe for Macaroni Cheese - and I hope you'll forgive the mixture of measures. Somehow I can't seem to get them constant - I'm useless with metric, but as things like packs of macaroni come in kilos these days, I don't have a lot of choice. If you can't make sense of this, just ask me to clarify it and I'll do my best. Here goes:
This makes four really good-sized portions
Ingredients: 1 third of a pack of macaroni (approx 333gms)
100gms good strong Cheddar cheese (use more if you like it really strong)
Approx: 1 pint liquid (I use half full-cream milk, and half vegetable stock because
I think it gives a better flavour)
1 oz. or 1 old-fashioned heaped tablespoon of flour
1 good oz. of hard butter (no substitutes)
1 good pinch Colman's Mustard powder
Fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Approx. 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese for topping (again use more if you wish).
Method: First I put a large, buttered, dish into a warm oven (approx 150) to warm (I use old butter papers to give the dish a non-stick finish). Then I start by cooking the macaroni in a large saucepan covered with plenty of boiling, salted water. It takes about 10 - 13 minutes to cook it thoroughly, and as the macaroni swells you may need to add more water. (Tip: add boiling water so that the cooking time isn't slowed down and stir the macaroni fairly frequently to stop it sticking together). While the macaroni is cooking, make the Roux: put the butter into a smaller saucepan on a low heat to melt. Do not burn the butter - if you do you will have to start again. When the butter is melted, take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour and the pinch of mustard powder, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. It will get thick very quickly. Put the pan back on a low heat and gradually add the milk and vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring all the time with your wooden spoon to avoid lumps. This is labour intensive I know, but the object is to achieve a smooth creamy sauce which is approximately the thickness of pouring cream. If the sauce gets lumpy take it off the heat and whisk with a small whisk until it is smooth before continuing. If your macaroni is cooked before the sauce is finished, simply take the sauce off the heat and put it to one side while you drain the macaroni. I have found that cooked macaroni is very lively indeed! It seems to leap about when you least want it to, so be careful as you drain it into a large colander, otherwise it will all jump out into the sink! When you have drained it, run the cold tap through the colander to wash all the excess starch out of the macaroni. This is very important, because it takes away the "clagginess" of most cooked pasta. (In fact I do this with all my pasta.) Next, put the cooked macaroni (carefully) back into the saucepan and add a drizzle of good olive oil which you mix into the pasta with a wooden spoon. This stops it sticking together. Next continue with the sauce (back on a low heat) by stirring in the grated Cheddar cheese until it is all smoothly combined. At this point I also add salt and pepper to taste. You will find that the sauce thickens as you stir in the cheese, and it should be both creamy and delicious. Now remove your warmed dish from the oven (carefully), pour in the cooked macaroni and add the cheese sauce, slowly, stirring it in well. Then sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top and return the dish to the oven, turning up the grill to brown the top. This only takes a couple of minutes. The result should be (I hope) a deliciously creamy Macaroni Cheese. This whole process takes me about 30 minutes and makes enough to feed four really greedy people.

Now if I were anything like as clever as my good friend Donna , I would have a mouth-watering photo to show you at this point, but as I'm not, you will just have to imagine it. Despite this, I hope you will try it and enjoy it! Happy cooking..


Maggie May said...

That is very similar to the one my mother used to make!
Thank you.

Donna said...

Hahahaaa...Thanks for the "heads up" sweetie! And I see a secret ingredient!!! Mustard Powder!!! Never would have thought to add that! I will try this one! Still working as hard as Ever, I see!!! Love to you!hughugs

Expat mum said...

Ooh, will try the mustard. I must admit I just had made (sorry!) a gourmet type of mac n' cheese and the kids loved it. It had a variety of cheeses in it, red peppers AND vegetables. Hallelujah!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dear Maggie, thanks sos much for that - I know this is quite an old-fashioned recipe - the modern ones are much more adventurous. M :-)

Dear Donna, thanks for popping across the pond, and I hope the recipe works out for you if you try it. Though just the thought of turning all those proportions into cups, etc, would make me cry! Lots of love. M :-)

Hi ExpatMum, lovely of you to drop by and comment. Yes, I bet your recipe was great, it sounds yummy and a good way to get some vegetables into the children. Sadly, I was instructed to stick to a very basic and simple recipe for the Deli, not even adding herbs, onions or anything! I think they have lots of other stuff with garlic and herbs etc, so wanted this to be plain. Adding the mustard and the vegetable stock does just give it a bit of a lift!
M xx

Expat mum said...

One of my best mac n cheese resipes came from those Sainsburys cards you got and put in a folder/binder. It called for simple elbow macaroni, good cheese, an egg and cream. The cream made the entire thing - as fattening food always does.

Expat mum said...

Obviously - "recipes"! Pah!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You don't need a photo! The description has mouths watering alone!

CJ xx

gaelikaa said...

I agree with CJ. Lovely recipe, dear! I normally make macaroni cheese without an oven as I don't have one. I'm getting one soon, thought!

Rob Clack said...

Oh dear. Now I am sooooo hungry!

What your delicious-sounding recipe pops into my brain is that we used to eat macaroni cheese quite often. And cauliflower cheese too, come to that, and haven't had either for ages. I shall have to cook it one evening!

小貓咪 said...


A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi again Expatmum, yes it's always the gorgeous fattening stuff that makes it taste better. I would like to make it more adventurous but have to do it simply.. M :-)

Dear Crystal, thank you, you are encouraging as ever. I hope you like this - it's so easy, and I had forgotten how yummy it is. M xx

Hi Gaelikaa, thank you for your comments. I'm sure it is very good without an oven too - really you just need a grill to make it toasty on top! M xx

HI Rob, I know, before I was asked to make this, I had forgotten how tasty those simple dishes are. I do hope you enjoy it too. M xx

Well, this last one is a mystery - sorry I can't reply! M :-)

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Mmmmmm my mum used to make that. Haven't had it in years - thanks for the recipe. Kids! guess what's for supper!

notSupermum said...

Thanks for the recipe, I'm not a cheese lover but my girls love macaroni cheese so I'll give this a go!

Donna said...

Just checking on you!!hughugs

family2o said...

Thanks for sharing such a simple but yummy recipe.
I remember fondly always getting a tuna pasta bake at high school, and as you described the recipe, it reminded me of the yummy macaroni and cheese I had at a friends house when I was a kid...

Even though it's Ramadan, I think I might have to give it a try on the weekend, for when we break our fast ;)

I just hope I don't burn the white sauce, or make it too lumpy, like the only other time that I've ever tried to make a white cream cheese sauce.. Will let you know how it goes, once I get round to make it!

Cheers ;)

Dusty Spider said...

Sounds delicious! I'll have to have a go at that one.... thankyou! xx

family2o said...

oopps.. Looks like I put the wrong URL in my link to my blog in my last comment.. Is there any way you can edit it? It's meant to me Blog:

(feel free to delete this comment if you can edit my previous one;)

sorry, I'm still kinda new to Blogger, and figuring out how the commenting system works :(

Laura said...

Oooh, this brought back so many happy memories! Almost identical recipe as the one handed down to me, too...
It made me feel all warm inside, and I've made you our Blog Love post of the week :)

The Dotterel said...

I'm so going to have to make that - sounds mmmmmmmm. (PS what did 小貓咪 say?)

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Hi Reasons 123, so sorry for the delay in replting, I didn't realize I'd had so many more comments.. I'm pleased you like the sound of this, and hope it was a success. They like it in the Deli and I'm making two or three a week now. M :-)

Hi there notSupermum, and thank you for stopping by. I do hope you found it easy to follow, and that your girls enjoyed it. M xx

Hi Donna - so sorry I disappeared for so long - and missed all these lovely comments! Thanks for checking on me. MN xx

Hi family2o, and thank you for calling and commenting. I do hope that the recipe worked for you - it does seem to remind a lot of people of comforting childhood food. Lovely! M xx

Dear Dusty, how lovely to hear from you - I have been a terrible correspondent lately. I do so hope that you enjoyed the mac. cheese. Love M xx

Hi again family2o, so sorry but I don't know how to do that! I'm totally useless when it comes to sorting out technical stuff! M :-(

Hi Laura, how lovely of you to visit with such nice comments. I did try to find you, but had no luck; thank you though for making me your "Blog Love" post of the week - do let me know where I can find it please. M xx

Hi The Dotterel, how nice of you to call by, and I do hope that your mac. cheese was a success. M xx PS I haven't a clue!! How on earth do I translate from that? Any ideas?