Mac n Cheese would have to be my favourite comfort food meal. If you are feeling down, this will definitely hit the spot like a comforting hug from mum. Sometimes that can be quickly followed by overwhelming feelings of guilt if you overindulge, which I often do. However if you have some level of self control, a plate of creamy steamy mac n cheese says ‘everything is ok’.
Now on my recent trip to the US I could not wait to overindulge in every town we visited, however I discovered that I am not a huge fan of the American, and let’s face it, the traditional way of serving this cheesy carb fest. Generally the dish is topped with a bread crumb and cheese layer and then baked. I am not a huge fan of doing this as it tends to dry the whole thing out and that cheese crumb layer turns into a hard and dry crust which is inedible. I prefer it straight up, oozy and saucy, no baking required. If you do like a crust, I would make your own bread crumbs, only have a light sprinkling and briefly grill the top rather than bake so the mac doesn’t dry out and you are left with a fine, light and crunchy top.
There are many variations of mac n cheese and you can go for a basic, American orange cheese style which I have done here, or my favourite, Truffled Mac n Cheese using Gruyere, aged cheddar and truffle oil. You can get as creative as you like with Mac n Cheese, have fun with it.
3 heaped tbs plain flour
3 cups milk
300g cheese, grated
60g parmesan, grated
Topping – Optional
1 cup homemade bread crumbs
Add macaroni to a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook according to directions. Drain once ready.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter, once melted, add flour to make a roux and cook off for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, stirring continuously until all the milk is gone and the sauce is thick. Add grated cheeses and stir until melted through.
Add cooked and drained macaroni and stir until all pasta is well coated.
You can either serve like this, or you can add a light coating to be toasted. To make bread crumbs, toast 3 slices of bread, allow to cool and then process in a food processor to make crumbs. Pour macaroni into a casserole dish. Combine crumbs with grated parmesan and sprinkle over macaroni. Place under a medium grill for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
Serve immediately. YUM!