150g medium macaroni
Pinch dry English mustard
100g Cheddar or Lancashire cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tblsp single cream
Prep to Cook:
I large pan, I medium sauce pan, measuring jug, wooden spoon, grater, spatula, colander, teaspoon, tablespoon
Prep: Prep the macaroni
Boil the kettle
Pour boiling water over the macaroni in the big pan and stir
Bring to the boil and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes
Prep the sauce:
Grate the cheese putting 30g on one side for topping
All-in-one sauce: Put the milk in the pan and whisk in the flour and dry mustard
Put the pan on the hob and bring to the boil
Keep whisking with a balloon head whisk or similar as the mixture gets hot
Stir rapidly as the sauce thickens and add the butter
Once boiled remove from the heat and add grated cheese and stir
Leave the cheese to melt and add the seasoning
Drain the macaroni through the colander and return to the pan
Pour the sauce into the pan and add 2 tablespoons of cream with the sauce
Stir gently with a spatula to mix the sauce with the macaroni without chopping it up
Grease a serving bowl with margarine
Pour in the macaroni cheese
Sprinkle over the topping
Put under a hot grill for 2 – 3 minutes until the topping is brown and crunchy
The all-in-one method of sauce making has been suggested in this recipe but you can try the ‘roux’ method if you wish, or even use cornflour and make a sauce by the blending method.
Cooks Know How: Macaroni is a pasta made from wheat. It requires boiling to soften it and as it cooks it absorbs water, swells and also turns a paler colour. You can test the macaroni by removing one piece and allowing it to cool. Use your front teeth to check the ‘bite’ and detect if there is any gritty centre which would indicate further cooking required. Drain macaroni well because the tubular shape pasta holds water and this needs to drain away to allow space for the tasty sauce.
Making the sauce is all about creating a smooth sauce. Keep the ‘all-in-one’ sauce on the go in order to prevent lumps forming. The sauce does not need to be too thick because the cheese will thicken in further. The cream slackens off the sauce and adds richness. You use dry mustard powder to pep up the sauce and seasoning to bring out the savouriness.
Make Mac cheese with any hard cheese you like and see how it is different each time. I like Red leicester and also Sage Derby !