1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

macaroni cheese

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Si N. Tiffick, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    My son has been unwell and today is much better, demanding macaroni cheese.
    Now how do you make your macaroni cheese? Mine has to have some crispy smoked bacon stirred through it, and it has to be topped with a thin layer of wholemeal seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan for a crispy top. No tomatoes, ever.
    I am however [​IMG], quite partial to that Scottish canteen delicacy of horrifically overcooked macaroni, in a bland cheese sauce, topped with plasticky orange cheese, always but always served with chips! The macaroni can usually be smeared onto the chips such is the consistency. Don't ask me why I like it- it isn't remotely cheesy and the macaroni is indistinguishable. It certainly isn't the way my mum used to make it.
     
  2. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    My son has been unwell and today is much better, demanding macaroni cheese.
    Now how do you make your macaroni cheese? Mine has to have some crispy smoked bacon stirred through it, and it has to be topped with a thin layer of wholemeal seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan for a crispy top. No tomatoes, ever.
    I am however [​IMG], quite partial to that Scottish canteen delicacy of horrifically overcooked macaroni, in a bland cheese sauce, topped with plasticky orange cheese, always but always served with chips! The macaroni can usually be smeared onto the chips such is the consistency. Don't ask me why I like it- it isn't remotely cheesy and the macaroni is indistinguishable. It certainly isn't the way my mum used to make it.
     
  3. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    With you on the tomatoes, Si. Baked tomatoes on the side, I like, but never on top.
    I like to enrichen things further by adding a large slurp of double cream to a very thick, cheesy bechamel, about 150ml in fact. Heavenly, although extremely bad for you. I couldn't give a gnat's **** though.
    Yes to the parmesan on top - normally don't bother with breadcrumbs.
    Tend not to use maraconi as much of what is available isn't very good quality - tend to use rigatoni or penne. Prefer to undercook it slightly in the first instant, so that it soaks up some of the sauce.
    And - this may ruffle a few feathers - but I sometimes like to soften a couple of finely sliced leeks in butter, until silky, and then stir these through the pasta and cheese sauce before topping and baking. I'm aware this might make the purists hate me. It's very nice though, and I do recommend you try before discarding out of hand!
     
  4. Never, ever with tomatoes.
    I do mine this way...cook the macaroni until just underdone.
    Make up a nice thick white sauce, add some cheese (I tend to use gouda as can never get cheddar). Don't forget the bay leaf and nutmeg!
    Fry up some lardons. Mix in with cheese sauce and macaroni.
    Put in oven proof dish and cover with another layer of cheese (no breadcrumbs). Bake.
    If I have some veg to use up, I may grate it in to the sauce, but then that is Leftover Pie, not macaroni cheese!

     
  5. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I've never used bay, but have a generous dose of english mustard powder and nutmeg. The Scottish canteen version doesn't have either of these. I guess they would dirstract from the blandness!
    Leeks- I can see the point there.
    Lardons- aren't you posh [​IMG]. If I was organised, they would be my bacon bit of choice, but I never am when it comes to macaroni cheese so bacon it is! IN fact, my butcher cures and smokes his own bacon and can be persuaded to give me the bacon scraps for such use for next to nothing. He knows when I go in that I'll be asking for beef bones, or chicken carcasses, or bacon scraps as well as my proper meat order and is very obliging!
     
  6. Not at all. I remember a thread on here where I was going on about bits of bacon and somebody turned up to tell me they are called lardons.
    I never normally use the word - in our house they are bitsa bacon! I just chop it up, or buy some Speck and chop it up.

     
  7. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I was only pulling your leg CQ! It's hard to convey that when typing.
     
  8. Agree with this, btw. I bring a tin of Coleman's back with me from every trip to the UK!
    I also often add some to a salad dressing - am I the only one? I have a colleague who adds mustard (not powdered) to her salad dressings too...
     
  9. I know, lassie.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Anyway, so far we all seem to agree - NO tomatoes!
     
  11. Oh yes! I have tried finding this in the supermarkets to no avail - they are too nice!
    But I do eat it at work, it is usually gross enough to hit the right button!
     
  12. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I adore pasta in cheese sauce but cannot abide macaroni, dunno why, just hate it. So conchiglie, fusilli, penne, farfalle, all great. Never tomato on top but some chopped spring onion in the sauce is good, or lardons or ham bits or mushrooms or leeks.
     
  13. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    The best (worst?) version I've ever found was in the canteen at my work when I worked in the Clydeside yards many years ago. Monday was macaroni and a group of us would race across the yard at the sound of the hooter to stake our place in the queue as it went fast!
     
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I have a "posh" version which uses artichoke hearts.
     
  15. Leeks definitely and if there are bits left over from a bacon joint those go in too.I always use rigatoni and sliced tomatoes on top with grated parmesan are de rigueur. I am salivating just thinking about it!
     
  16. It is one of those recipes where everyone has their own version, isn't it?
    I love that - you have your family favourite but here you get some new ideas to try. But those ideas will never replace the family favourite, just expand on it for a change now and then.
    And then the kids will scream "nice but next time, OUR macaroni cheese, please" Just as wee C probably just wanted Mummy's macaroni cheese today [​IMG]

     
  17. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    LOL! You're so right, CQ- if I'd put in leeks or artichoke hearts, there'd have been tears today!
     
  18. Yup.
    Sometimes (sorry guys) you just want Mummy's version. End of [​IMG]
     
  19. This isn't really macaroni cheese as such but I have cooked it since I was about 18.
    8oz of macaroni
    One tin of Campbells Tomato soup
    One onion chopped
    3-4 oz of strongish cheese
    2-3 oz Breadcrumbs (optional)

    Cook the macaroni in plenty of salted boiling water.
    Chop the onion and fry in a pan with a teaspoon of oil.
    Add the soup.
    Stir continuously until heated through.
    Stir in the cheese.
    When macaroni is cooked, strain and add to the sauce.



     
  20. How does that go?
    I have a jar of artichoke hearts which I have been trying to find a use for.
     

Share This Page