Food

#67 Recipe No.7 Mac & Cheese

This was going to be a scheduled post while I was away at the weekend however I didn’t get it done before I left so I bring it to you now. 
For me, macaroni cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It reminds me of time I’ve spent in New York as it was often a go to dish for me however last week was the first time I’d made it from scratch myself. Usually if I do make it, I get the four cheese sauce and just stick it on the dry macaroni before putting it in the oven. It’s good but not exactly satisfying. I got this recipe once again from The Little Paris Kitchen cook book (where it is called Gratin de macaronis au fromage), I had considered doing one from Nigellissma but it would of been a case buying a lot of ingredients where as for the one from The Little Paris Kitchen it was simpler and our cupboards contained most of the ingredients.
I have as usual substituted some of the more fattening ingredients for low or no fat ingredients. I also added a couple of rashers of low fat bacon medallions we had left in the fringe from having BLTs.

Ingredients
300g Macaroni
150g Weight Watchers Mature Chedder Grated
30g Unsalted Butter
30g Plain Flour
500ml Skimmed Milk, lukewarm
1/2 Onion, skin removed
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
Stock cube
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
Bacon is optional
What You Will Need
Large Pan, Medium Pan, Jug, Wooden Spoon, Knife, Chopping Board, Scales, Sieve, Kettle, Garlic Press, Oven Dish, Colander
  1. First make the bechamel sauce (this was a first for me!) Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until it forms a smooth paste. Then remove from heat and leave to cool for two minutes.
  2. Gradually add the milk, whisking continuously. Place back on the heat and add the onion, garlic & bay leave and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, whisking frequently. 
  3. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 180 degrees (or gas mark 4) and cook the pasta according to the packet. I cook the pasta in a chicken stock cube to give it a little more flavour.
  4. Remove the onion and bay leaf by passing the sauce through a sieve then season with nutmeg, salt & pepper. Then leave to cool. 
  5. Drain the pasta and put into oven dish. 
  6. Mix three quarters of the cheese into the sauce then pour over the pasta. Mix in so the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. (This is where I added the bacon i’d previously cooked at the same time as the pasta so it was nice and crispy). 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden. 
I thought it was super easy especially since you had to make your own bechamel! You could essentially add anything (within reason) that you needed to use up in your fridge, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, cooked chicken and I’m sure it would be just as or even more tasty! We served it with low fat garlic bread to make it a more substantial evening meal. 
I have a confession to make… the next day I used the left overs to make a toastie.. just like they do on tumblr.. I have absolutely no regrets! Cannot wait to make it again next time I feel in dyer need of some serious comfort food!
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