Tuesday 12 January 2016

The Don Macaroni

The Don Macaroni

I am one of the biggest lovers of MacNCheese and to say I was chuffed to bits to receive  "Anna Maes Mac N Cheese" cookbook for Christmas is an understatement.  Anna Mae has a food van and they sell Mac N Cheese, that is it, but oh my god, the variations on such a simple recipe is amazing.  I am going to work my way through the recipes and thought I would start with their most popular dish, The Don Macaroni.  I will detail the starter sauce within this post and will refer back to this when posting further recipes.  Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the cook book, visit Amazon, the book is amazing, not only a cook book but funny as well, enjoy.

Starter Sauce
  • 600ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
Place two heavy bottomed pans over a medium heat.  Heat the milk in one pan until hot, but not boiling.  At the same time melt the butter in the second pan, then reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in the flour using a wooden spoon until you have a paste - this is a roux.  Continue to cook, stirring continuously, for 3-4 minutes, or until the roux turns golden in colour, being careful not to over brown and burn the mixture.

Add the hot milk to the roux a little at a time, stirring vigorously.  Once the mixture is fully combined, turn up the heat to medium and cook for a further 5-8 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon.  Make sure you stir continuously to keep the sauce smooth and so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Season with salt.

Now for the ingredients for The Don Macaroni
  • 400g macaroni
  • 1 portion starter sauce
  • 230g mature cheddar, grated
  • 90g Monteray Jack, grated
  • 30g Parmesan, grated
  • 8 rashers of dry-cured streaky bacon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto
  • 75ml good quality olive oil
  • 25g grated Parmesan
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • A squeeze of lemon

First make the pesto.  Pop the ingredients into a small bowl and blitz with a hand blender or bash in a pestle and mortar until lovely and smooth.  Set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, until al denote.  Tip into a colander and leave to drain completely.

In a heavy bottomed pan make the starter sauce, then reduce the heat to low.  Stir in all the cheese and leave to melt, stirring occasionally to stop the mixture sticking to the pan.  Add the drained pasta to to the cheese sauce and mix thoroughly.

Meanwhile fry the bacon until crisp, pouring any fat that collects in the pan into the cheese sauce, mixing well.

Spoon the Mac n cheese into 4 serving bowls, drizzle the pesto over the top and place two of the bacon rashers across each dish.  Garnish with the basil and season with freshly ground pepper.

This was a truly amazing comfort food dinner, I can't wait to get stuck into more of the recipes.

Recipe courtesy of Anna Maes Mac N Cheese cookbook, well worth a buy if you are a lover!

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