Thursday, 19 October 2017
Macaroni cheese revisited
Secondly, I decided to try Amuse your Bouche's crispy garlic breadcrumbs instead of my normal breadcrumb-and-cheese topping; the first time I tried to make these they were a disaster, but, but I realised that if I made the bread into breadcrumbs first, it would work rather better. It did!
Thirdly, I used a tin of tomatoes instead of the normal béchamel - I used to do this a lot in the past, but haven't done it with leeks before.
1 cup (roughly 250 ml by volume) plain flour
Salt, pepper and mustard to taste
Enough water to make a stiffish dough.
Knead the above - ideally using dough hooks on a stand mixer - for several minutes, until it is really smooth and stretchy. Press through a noodle-maker into boiling salted water; bring back to the boil, then drain, and rinse the noodles in cold water until they are cold (this helps set them).
The main event:
1 leek, chopped
About 1/4 small pumpkin or butternut squash, diced
c 20g butter
c 1 tbs plain flour
1 tin tomatoes
Seasonings - salt, pepper, mustard, maybe sweet paprika
Several handfuls grated cheese
Cook the leek and pumpkin (or any other vegetable you fancy) in the butter until no longer raw; using a blender, whizz the flour with the tin of tomatoes and pour the result on to the vegetables; bring to the boil and add the noodles and grated cheese. Smooth the surface, and top with: crispy garlic breadcrumbs (see recipe here). Bake at Mark 5 for about 45 minutes, until the breadcrumbs really are crispy.
Edited to add: I was not totally convinced by this. The garlic breadcrumbs were wonderful, a great addition to the repertoire, but I think with a tomato sauce I do prefer onions to leeks, and I'm not sure the home-made noodles showed to best advantage like this. Maybe commercial pasta would have been better (the dried kind - one can buy fresh spaetzle anywhere on the Continent, but not in this country as yet). The pumpkin worked well, though.