Macaroni Cheese Recipe

My eldest son would not eat macaroni cheese until he saw a science programme describing the chemistry of cooking. In the programme, they made macaroni cheese. He was so interested that he asked me to make one. I remember saying but, you don’t like macaroni cheese. They described how Parmesan cheese was a natural flavour enhancer.

So I started experimenting to make a macaroni cheese that he would like and this is what I came up with. I make my white sauce in the microwave, but you can make it the traditional way of starting with a roux. I don’t know when I learnt this method and I know chefs will be holding their arms up in disgust, but it’s just my way. I think this is one of the few things I do in a microwave.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Leek
  • 180g Mushrooms
  • 105g Pancetta
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 50g Butter
  • Pint Milk
  • 3tbsp Yogurt
  • 1 1/2tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 170g Cheddar Cheese
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 120ml Cooking Liquid from the Pasta
  • 350g Macaroni
  • 1/4 pint cream (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat some oil in a frying pan and start by frying your chopped leeks.
  2. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the slightly softened leek.
  3. Let these cook for a minute and then add the chopped pancetta.
  4. Let these fry down until they are slightly caramelised.
  5. Once this has done and (it can take 15-20 minutes) keep an eye on them and stir occasionally.
  6. Once finished put to one side.
  7. Now make the white sauce (instructions for sauce are below).
  8. Add the leek, mushrooms and pancetta to the cheese sauce and stir to mix.
  9. Cook the macaroni as per the instructions on the packet.
  10. Once it’s boiling, take some of the cooking water and set to one side.
  11. Once the pasta is cooked drain.
  12. Now add the white sauce to the pasta (Note. if it’s too thick add a little of the pasta water to help loosen).
  13. Mix until the pasta is covered in the cheese sauce.
  14. Pour into a baking dish.
  15. Bake in the oven at 200C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and heated through.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for five minutes.

Cheese Sauce Recipe:

  1. Put the 50g of cornflour in a microwave-proof bowl.
  2. Pour over a little of the milk and stir in the cornflour to slacken, then gradually add the remaining milk until all combined.
  3. Add the 50g butter and place in the microwave.
  4. Heat for a minute, take out and stir.
  5. Keep heating for a minute until the butter has melted and you can mix it in.
  6. Keep heating and stirring until the sauce has thickened.
  7. Season to taste and stir in the 3tbsp of yoghurt and the Dijon mustard.
  8. Add the cream
  9. Once this is mixed add both the cheeses and stir until melted.

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