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Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese

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Who doesn’t love this old favourite? Given new life with a bit of thoughtful plating and garnishing.

  • Serves: 6 |
    6 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 20 mins |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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Easy Tomato Chutney
4 tsp (20 ml) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 star anise
120 g brown sugar
½ tsp (5 ml) ginger
¼ stick cinnamon
500 g tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1 clove
½ tsp (5 ml) curry powder
1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
13 C (80 ml) red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Macaroni
300 g macaroni pasta
1¼ C (310 ml) milk
1 garlic clove
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
½ onion, very finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
400 g mature cheddar, grated and split into
three equal portions
½ tsp (2.5 ml) English mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp (30 ml) parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chives, chopped
12 pieces streaky bacon

To Garnish
rocket leaves
a few leaves of fresh parsley, finely chopped
12 cherry tomatoes, slow roasted or fresh
6 x 8 cm moulds or ramekins

Easy Tomato Chutney

Place the onion, star anise and sugar in a saucepan with the oil and a little water, allow the onion to cook and just start to caramelise. Add the ginger, chilli, clove, cinnamon stick and vinegar and reduce by half.

Add the tomato and cook until thick. Adjust the seasoning and set aside to cool. Remove the clove and cinnamon stick before serving.

Macaroni

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

Cook the macaroni in a saucepan with plenty of salted water until al dente, drain and set aside.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan with garlic, thyme and bay leaf, bring to a simmer. Switch off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove so that the milk remains warm.

In a separate frying pan heat the butter, and gently cook the onion until soft. Add the flour and stir to make a roux, continue to cook for one minute.

Strain the milk through a sieve to remove the herbs, ensuring that it is still warm. Slowly add the milk to the roux mix, whisking in to make white sauce. Simmer until thick and the flour has cooked. Ensure that no lumps form.

Add one third of the cheese and the mustard and stir to combine. Whisk in the egg yolks and add the parsley and chives. Add the al dente macaroni and mix to combine.

Grease six moulds or ramekins with non-stick spray and line the sides with 2 strips of streaky bacon per mould or ramekin.

Place a scoop of the macaroni mix in each and sprinkle equally with the second portion of cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the oven.

Crisp Cheese Biscuit

Using the remaining third of the grated cheese, place about 1-2 tablespoons of freshly grated cheese straight into a non-stick pan over low heat. The cheese will slowly melt, watch closely as it can burn, it will slowly bubble away and change colour.

Remove from the pan and sprinkle with a little finely chopped fresh parsley. Create a perfect circle by cutting out immediately on a cutting board using a round cookie cutter, or something similar. Repeat until you have 6 circles.

To Serve

Unmould the macaroni from the ramekin or mould. Garnish with roasted or fresh cherry tomatoes and place the cheese disk on top. Serve with tomato chutney on the side.

Variation

If you like bacon, add some extra bacon, when cooking the onion.