It doesn't come any more comforting than Mac n Cheese! A load of pasta, a simple yet uber delicious cheese sauce and with the addition of some crispy bacon, jalapeno slices it really doesn't get any better!
I often get asked about the food we eat at home. How come I ain't the size of a house!? People wonder do I cook like this all the time or do we ever eat basic bitch food ever! The truth is we do eat simple food a lot of the time but I always do my best to put a twist on it. I love to challenge myself in the kitchen - to come up with something different or out of the ordinary. Now that we have a toddler and are living in Australia we don't get out to party as much as we did when we lived in NYC. Our family is back in Ireland so babysitters don't come cheap. When you tack on about $60-70 in babysitting expenses it becomes quite a luxury to go out.
So, to answer the original question. Seeing as we can't get out too often I like to try wow the ladyfriend at home. Cooking is something I find relaxing. Granted a little less so when the "princess" is shouting at me to play. But I do my very best to try cook and present it as restaurant quality as I can. So to quote a famous chef - simple food done right!
Mac n Cheese
You have probably just read the above statement and are thinking WTF - it's Mac n Cheese. This ain't fancy. True story and I totally hate going to a restaurant and seeing them charge 100's of $$ for Mac n Cheese. For me I don't need shaved truffles or lobster in it. Don't get me wrong I like both of those things but when eating my Mac n Cheese I just wanna keep it humble and simple. Personal preference!
Here in AnotherFoodBloggers house we are all about adding spice to pretty much everything - especially Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger. Aside from adding jalapeno to the mix there is a little tabasco in the sauce too. Back to that well stocked pantry I am always piping on about! So, yep we do eat simply but there is nothing stopping anyone taking things up a notch and I hope that following a few of my tips will help you along the way.
Happy Eating and Happy Cooking Friends!
- 350 g pasta elbows or similar
- 12 slices cooked bacon chopped
- 2 - 3 jalapenos sliced
- 4.5 cups whole milk
- 4 tbsp flour
- 100 g butter
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 200 g red leicester cheese grated
- 50 g parmesan grated
- 50 g white cheddar grated
- 50 g mozzarella grated
- 10 dashes tabasco
- 1 pinch salt
- 40 g panko or other breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon zested
- 3 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- Cook pasta 2 mins less than packet instructions say. Strain and set aside
- Add butter, garlic and flour to sauce pan, cook on a medium heat to make a roux *see tips* and cook for a couple mins
- Gradually add the milk and whisk until it starts to thicken. Turn heat to low.
- Once sauce is starting to thicken add tabasco and grated cheese. Stirring to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly
Mac n Cheese
- Fry jalapeno in cast iron or other heavy bottom frying pan. Once cooked remove from heat and add pasta, cheese sauce and bacon. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 30 mins @ 180c place under a grill to crisp up the breadcrumbs *see tips*
- Instead of baking the mac n cheese you can add all the cooked ingredients into the cheese sauce pan and serve. Sprinkling some toasted breadcrumbs on top.
- wooden spoon
- frying pan
- cast iron or other heavy bottom pan
- sauce pan
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- weighing scales/measuring spoons
- the addition of multiple other toppings for mac n cheese is huge - onion, lobster, shrimp, truffle, ketchup or vegetables!
- a roux is a thickening agent used to make sauces. It is made when cooking fat (butter in this case) and flour together.
- some recipes call for Mac n Cheese to be baked in the oven and other just on a stove top. Either way works just fine. The stove top method I find offers a creamier version where the baked one gives you a stringy cheese affect. It's personal and time dictated too!