Is there anything more comforting than home made Mac and Cheese? I love that it’s one of those things you can throw anything into. Today it was broccoli, Chorizo and Mushroom that got thrown in (I didn’t add Mushroom to the recipe title because Ben doesn’t like mushroom and this way I thought he’d never notice, heehee)! You can also vary the cheese variety you use to get a totally different experience. It’s what I call a “see what needs using up in the fridge dish”.
I also love that it’s one of the very few things that the whole family will eat!
So this is how I made today’s, but next time I make it, it will probably be completely different!
Ingredients: (this served 4)
250-300g garofalo macaroni (dry)
1 large head brocolli (chopped into small florets)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
About 75-100g diced chorizo
6-8 chopped mushrooms
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
200g creme fraiche (I used 0% fat)
Cheese (grated or small diced), as much as you like! I used a medium cheddar about 40-50g…but use as much or as little as suits your taste
Malden sea salt and pepper
Godminster smoked cheddar to top
How to make it amazing:
1. Put the pasta on to cook. Instead of cooking mine in water I used some chicken stock that I had left over from when I cooked up my roast chicken bones. Cooking the pasta in chicken stock added a bit more richness and flavour, but it’s non-essential to the dish! When the pasta was about half done, I added the broccoli into the pan too.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan, over a high heat and add the chopped onion. When it’s started to caramelise, add the garlic and chorizo and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring.
3. Preheat the oven to 180. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine, then reduce the heat slightly and add the butter.
4. Add the flour and stir to combine. Next add the milk, drop at a time and stirring to combine in between. If it looks very runny before all the milk is added, then don’t add it all. Similarly if it looks very thick and stodgy, add a drop more milk. Continue to heat until it starts to thicken and bubble, add the creme fraiche and stir well. Finally add the cheese and stir until melted in. Season well.
5. Strain the pasta and broccoli and stir through the sauce until well coated. Pour into oven proof dish.
6. Top with grated smoked cheese and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
7. Serve for cheesy goodness heaven. I served it with an oven baked salmon fillet which I topped with Big 5 Chilli & Garlic Paste before roasting (for the adults, the children draw the line here)! The spicy kick went really nicely with the cheesiness. Success!