Weekend recipe – Surf Cafe Living mac n cheese

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surf-cafe-living-coverEarlier in the week we reviewed the new cookery and lifestyle book Surf Cafe Living, and promised you that we would share some recipes from the book – here is their famous mac n cheese, in Myles’ own words. Tomorrow we’ll be sharing with you a recipe for South African plaited doughnuts called Koeksisters.

OK, Serious Mac and Cheese! Serves 6-8

A big favourite amongst my friends, perfect on a cold winter’s night. There’s a lot going on here so we’ll break it up into four parts.

  • Boil the macaroni and butternut squash
  • Make a bacon and onion base
  • Make a Béchamel cheese sauce
  • Put it all together and bake it off
  • 500g (5¼ cups) macaroni pasta, 1 medium butternut squash, 1 onion, diced, 3 cloves garlic, 200g (8oz) smoked bacon lardons, 75g (2.5oz) air-dried chorizo sausage, sliced into chunks, 80g (½ cup) sundried tomatoes, chopped, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, Fresh sage brushed with oil, Splash olive oil, Salt and pepper
  • Sauce: 100g (½ cup) butter, 80g (⅔ cup) flour, 400ml (1¾ cups) milk, 100ml (½ cup) white wine, 100ml (½ cup) cream, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 200g (¾ cup) grated vintage cheddar cheese, Pinch white pepper, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Finally: 200g (¾ cup) grated cheddar cheese, 1 tomato, sliced, Sage

To start preheat the oven to 200C/395F

Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil and cook off the macaroni. Drain and rinse with water so it won’t go starchy while you cook everything else.

Peel and chop the butternut to bite-size pieces and either roast, steam or boil the squash until soft and tender. Put to one side.

Grab a pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry off the onions, garlic and bacon. Later add the chorizo, smoked paprika and sundried tomatoes. Add some cracked black pepper. Once cooked, set side and sprinkle with oregano or sage.

In a separate, smaller pot on a low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir hard with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste (also known as a roux). Add a splash of milk and stir, another splash of milk and stir. Change the wooden spoon to a whisk and slowly add all the milk, then the cream, continuously whisking up a nice smooth sauce. Keep stirring on a low heat.

Add in the wine, cheese, mustard, white pepper and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted through. If the sauce is getting too thick, add a splash of cold milk. The consistency should be like thick cream. If it’s too thick it will make the dish way too stodgy.

Now grab a roasting dish; rub the inside with a clove of garlic and then smear on a layer of butter.

Pour in the macaroni and cooked butternut. Mix in the onion and bacon bits and stir together for an even mix of ingredients.

Pour on the cheesy, tangy sauce and spread over the rest of the ingredients. Cover the dish with the grated cheddar and top with thin slices of tomato.

Sprinkle with woody green herbs and pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes at 200C/395F.

Serve hot with a simple green salad and a Dijon mustard dressing.

Bon appetit!

Surf Café Living by Jane and Myles Lamberth is published by Orca Publications, £17.99,www.thesurfcafecookbook.com.

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I like my food - cooking, being cooked for, shopping for food, eating food. Love it all! Read more at http://itsnoteasybeinggreedy.com/

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