When thanksgiving was approaching I was given the job of making the macaroni cheese for an American independence day celebration event, as a Brit did I really master this American dish?
It is difficult to get the perfect concoction for a simple dish, so I began with 3 versions of macaroni cheese as a trial.
I made a basic sauce for all three of these dishes;
- melt 100g salted butter at a medium heat
- add 3 tablespoons of flour, or until a roux is made (smooth brown sludge).
- slowly add and stir in approx 250ml of milk and continue to stir until smooth
- add 250g of fresh grated cheddar and stir until smooth
- season to taste
In the picture above:
Top: The basic sauce combined with cooked pieces of chorizo mixed with cooked macaroni cheese and sprinkled with the herbed breadcrumbs.
Middle: Added 250g of grated red Leicester cheese to the basic sauce, coated the cooked macaroni pasta with this. Sprinkled with breadcrumbs seasoned with sage and rosemary herbs.
Bottom: Cooked macaroni pasta mixed with the basic sauce and added pancetta pieces which was also drizzled over the top then baked.
All cooked for 30 – 35 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
The meaty ones were most popular, but the one with the red Leicester cheese added some extra maturity and the crunchy topping was a total winner. For the final macaroni cheese recipe I took this in to account:
I used the basic sauce recipe but increased the quantities by 2.5 times, used extra mature cheddar, extra mature red Leicester and added pancetta.
Finally added a bread crumb topping with sage, rosemary, salt and pepper.
There were no complaints!