The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home décor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Try Something New Tuesday # 2

A Killer Mac 'n' Cheese...
Jamie's lovely looking picture that's
styled beautifully.
Pull up and chair, sit down and join me in a bowl of Jamie Oliver's version of mac 'n' cheese. I've started doing this series of weekly recipe blogs so that as a family we could start trying the beautiful photographed recipes that I see on Pinterest all the time. I'm also hoping to expand the horizons of my fussy children and encourage them to try things that they deem to be horrible.
With this series I'm hoping it helps increase the number of recipes I can use in the future. Jamie Oliver's killer mac 'n' cheese won't be something you eat all the time especially as it's not great in the nutritional department. Now I'll warn you that my pictures won't come close to the one that the stylist have produced for Jamie. The reason for this is because the kids were so hungry that I only had the opportunity to get the one picture. I also made a couple of changes because some of the items were expensive or I didn't have them on hand. Also this meal feeds 8 so you may like to make changes if the quantities won't work for you.
A Killer Mac 'n' Cheese
45g butter
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 litre skim milk
600g dried macaroni
8 tomatoes or 400g tin diced tomatoes
150g freshly grated Cheddar cheese
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 big handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs (can use dried if you don't have any)
olive oil
Optional Extras:
a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce
a grating of nutmeg
1. Bet a large pot of salted water on to boil. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan over a low heat, when melted add the flour and turn the heat up to medium. Stir all the time until you get something that looks like a paste - this is your roux.
2. Add the sliced garlic - these will caramelise like toffee in the roux. Keep cooking, stirring until golden and the garlic is nice and sticky. Slowly whisk in the milk a little at a time to ensure you get a nice smooth sauce.
3. Bring the mixture to the boil, turn it down to a low heat and leave it to simmer, stirring occasionally.
4. Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.
5. Add the macaroni to the pot of boiling water and cook it according to the directions on the packet.
6. Meanwhile, either roughly chop the tomatoes on a board and season them well with salt and pepper. If using the tin tomatoes drain most of the liquid and season with salt and pepper.
7. Drain the macaroni and add it to the roux. Give it a good stir and then take it off the heat. Add your grated cheeses, tomatoes and any of the optional extras.
8. This is the most important step you now need to work on the flavour. TASTE IT and season it until it's hitting the right spot. You'll want your mixture to be slightly too wet as it'll thicken up when it's in the oven, you can add a splash of water if its needed.
9. Transfer your mixture to a deep earthenware or ovenproof casserole dish. Bake it for 30 minutes in the oven, you'll know its ready when its golden, bubbling and crispy.
10 While the macaroni is in the oven, put your fresh breadcrumbs into a pan with a few drizzles of olive oil over a medium heat. Stir the breadcrumbs until they are crunchy. Remove from the heat, once the macaroni is out of the oven sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the dish. Alternatively if using dried breadcrumbs you can mix them with a little cheddar cheese and the sprinkle this over the macaroni prior to it going into the oven.
11. Serve either on its own or if you want a healthier element serve with a green salad.

Told you that my photo was B O R I N G.

The kids ate everything on their plates when I served this. Only one of them picked out the tomato which was great as none of them like eating tomatoes insert big smile here. I didn't use the breadcrumbs as I didn't think the dish needed it but I did add Worcestershire sauce just to give it a little kick. The kids asked to keep this one and they want to have it at least once a week but I'm going to keep it for maybe a monthly meal or every two months depending on how many other recipes become favourites.
So the next recipe we are going to do is an Impossible Pie and this is a request that come from my comment box. Now there are quite a number of sweet flavoured Impossible Pies and although they all look nice I'm going to try a savoury one. So I hope you can come back next Tuesday to see how that turns out. Remember I'd love to get your suggestions or ideas on what to do next so just leave me a message in the comment section and I'll get working on it. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you next week.


  1. Mmmm, reads yummy! Thanks for sharing, on my way to a Mac n' cheese party this weekend, this will be perfect!

    1. Wow I hope that you enjoy making this for you Mac 'n' cheese party. The great thing about this recipe is that you could add a few additional vegetables e.g. corn kernals, peppers, peas to give it some colour this would also be something slightly different from your normal mac 'n' cheese. It's also a great way to get the kids eating their vegetables. I hope you enjoy the party and have fun making it.