maraconi and cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

I’m a mother of 2 boys under the age of 5 whom I love to distraction.   They are wonderful, disastrously naughty and utterly charming in equal measure. Yesterday the eldest declared “I hate girls Mummy, I wish the world was just full of boys and their mummies” this naturally made me smile (a lot) and wish I’d had a Dictaphone on hand to play back the sentiment when he’s 16 and panting after which ever blonde, blued eyed beauty has caught his eye.

The only thing wrong with little boys is that they hate shopping.  Loathe it, despise every minute of it, wreak havoc to avoid it.  You name the shop, my boys have destroyed it in an attempt to get me to leave.  This has meant an end to my days gleefully browsing farmers markets and delis for delicious treats and provided Ocado.com with a new customer.

Yesterday, they braved the Somerset floods in a jacked up 4×4 truck to deliver their weekly parcel of goodies. They’d substituted  the lunch-box-staple of Philadelphia for a pot of Langage Dairy Jersey Curd Cheese which gave way to gasps of horror from the 4 year old and a mega-watt smile from me.  This little pot of temptation from Devon was screaming “Macaroni Cheese – make Macaroni Cheese from me. I’ll make it creamy and rich and divine and you’ll love me forever.”

Who was I to refuse!  This recipe uses my three favourite ingredients in the world. Truffle, double cream & cheese.  The truffle adds an incredible earthy depth to the dish and takes the cheese to a whole new level. I generally serve this as a starter size as it’s very rich but if you’re feeling particularly gluttonous then please indulge!

Even if you’re in a rush please try and make the time to prepare the milk.  The difference in the resulting flavours is very marked.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups full fat milk
  • 1 cup of double cream
  • 2 tablespoons of curd cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 ounces of dried macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces of grated Somerset Cheddar
  • 3 ounces of grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Seasoning as required.

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees.
  • Heat the milk over a medium heat in a pan with the halved onion and the bay leaves for approximately 5 minutes.  Do not let it boil. Set aside for later leaving the onion and bay in the milk.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside.
  • Gently fry off the garlic and onion in half the butter.
  • Drain the milk from the pan.
  • Melt the rest of the butter in a pan and using a whisk gradually beat in the flour to make a roux.
  • Bit by bit add the milk and the cream whisking continuously until you have a thick white sauce (with no lumps!).
  • Add the egg yolk and the curd cheese and whisk very well.
  • Now add the garlic, the onion and the Cheddar and Gruyere cheese.
  • Using a wooden spoon stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Now add the truffle oil and then remove immediately from the heat.
  • Stir in the pre-cooked pasta and serve either into individual ramekins or one baking dish (that you’ll be happy to take to your table!).
  • Sprinkle over the Parmesan and place in the oven until the cheese is golden.

If I’m serving this at a dinner party I’ll match it with a rich white wine from Burgundy or a well oaked Chardonnay from the new world.

Once again I failed the photography test so thank you to oprah.com for the image.

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