What I'm cooking and eating

Friday, 29 May 2015

Gran's extra-special macaroni cheese

My Boy ended up coming to tea today, so a quick change of plans - I had been going to make a butternut squash and mushroom risotto, but I know his favourite food ever is macaroni cheese.  So I thought I would introduce him to the version that his mother adored when she was a little girl, as I could make enough for 3 and then just pop his share under the grill while the cheese melted.  His verdict?  "I do like it, but it's not my absolute favourite.  That's the one they make at school!"

1 small onion, chopped
1 packet lardons
1 small tin sweet corn
1 tin tomatoes
1 heaped tsp flour
Pepper to taste
A little dry mustard powder, to taste (about ¼ tsp)
About 100 g Cheddar cheese, grated.
100-125 g macaroni-type pasta (depending on how many are eating it)

Put the onions and lardons into a pan, and allow to cook until the onion has softened.  Meanwhile, put the pasta on to boil according to the instructions on the packet.  Place the tin of tomatoes, the flour and the seasonings into a jug, and whizz with a stick blender until smooth (or use a regular blender).  Pour this mixture on to the top of the onions and lardons, and bring to the boil, stirring all the time, until it thickens.  Add the sweetcorn at some stage.  When it is boiling, turn off the heat and add half the grated cheese*, stirring until it melts.  Stir in the cooked pasta, top with the remaining grated cheese, and either put under the grill until the cheese bubbles, or, if you have let it sit for any length of time, shove it in a moderate oven for half an hour.

* My daughter's absolute favourite was if I topped it with a slice of bread made into breadcrumbs and mixed with the grated cheese, but the Boy is on record as saying he didn't think he'd like that.  And anyway, that really does need to be cooked in the oven, and time was slightly of the essence here!