Macaroni And Cheese

Macaroni N' Cheese is a classic that doesn't really require introduction. This one is easy and quick, but a bit "more" than your out-of-the-box versions. To please one-and-all!

Macaroni and cheese
  • Degree of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $
  • Preparation Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Yields: 4 portions
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  • By: Nicolas Steenhout

Macaroni & Cheese is one of those comfort food dishes that everyone seems to love (Unless they are lactose intolerant!). This one is fairly simple, yet can get complex flavours.

 
 

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Macaroni
  • 1 Onion
  • 50g Butter
  • 40g Flour
  • 750ml Milk
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 325g Aged Cheddar
  • 3 Rashers Bacon (or 6 sliced of American bacon)
  • 10ml Vegetable Oil

Note that I use no salt at all, as the combination of cheese and bacon is plenty to salt up the dish. I also use cayenne pepper rather than regular pepper, as it has a bit more flavour. The intent is not to make the dish spicy, however.

Mise En Place

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Cut the bacon in small pieces (1cm x 3cm or 0.5" x 1.5").
  3. In a non-stick pan, add the vegetable oil and the bacon.
  4. Turn the heat on medium-high and cook the bacon, stirring occasionaly.
  5. When the water boils, pour the macaroni in, and stir well to make sure the pasta doesn't stick in a lump.
  6. When the bacon is browned, put it to drain on a plate with a paper towel. Note bacon continues cooking, so don't leave it too late!
  7. Peel the onion, and diced it in small pieces. Set aside.
  8. Grate all the cheese. Set aside.
  9. When the pasta is cooked, drain in a strainer, and rinse quickly with cold water. Finish draining completely.

Preparation

  1. Put the butter in a pan, and melt it on medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and sweat them 'till they turn translucent.
  3. Take the pan off the heat, add the flour, and mix well.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat, and stir the mixture well. It will quickly form a "ball".
  5. Keep cooking the mix of butter, onion and flour until just before it starts browning.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and add the very cold milk. Let sit 2 or 3 minutes without stirring.
  7. Put the pan back on the heat, stirring gently, until it is simmering.
  8. Add the bay leaf, and cayenne pepper (I use the tip of a paring knife to measure the cayenne)
  9. Let the sauce simmer, stirring gently occasionaly for about 10 minutes. It should have thickened considerably by then.
  10. Add about half of the grated cheese to the sauce, and stirr well.

Finition

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (350°F).
  2. Mix the cooked pasta, bacon and sauce together well.
  3. Put the macarony & cheese in an oven-proof dish.
  4. Put the remaining half of the grated cheese on top of the dish, spreading it evenly.
  5. Place the dish, uncovered, in the oven, and bake until the cheese is melted and has browned.

Photos

Bacon rashers
Bacon rashers before cutting.

Cut bacon in pan
The bacon in pieces, in the pan, ready to cook.

Pouring macaroni in water.
About to pour the macaroni in boiling water.

Cooked bacon
The bacon is cooked and ready to take off the heat.

Draining bacon
The bacon on a paper towel, being drained of excess fat.

Dicing onions
Finely dicing onions.

Sweating onions
Sweating the onions in butter over medium heat.

My dog Wix in the kitchen
Curious dog likes to watch her human cook.

Onion, butter and flour clumping
The butter, flour and onion cooking, forming a ball.

Adding cayenne
Adding a "point" of cayenne pepper to the sauce.

Adding cheese to sauce
Adding half the cheese to the sauce, stirring well until melted.

Mixing all ingredients
Mixing the macaroni, bacon and cheese sauce together.

Dish served on plate.
The macaroni and cheese just quickly spooned in a plate - doesn't really look as appetising as the carefully presented dish, does it?

Vidéo

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I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol. Steven Wright

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