Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese

So cheesy, so good.

Mrs Woog asked me what you cook a Chef for their birthday dinner. For the Chef in this house the answer to that is very simple: any pasta in a cream based sauce and preferably involving as many forms of dairy as possible and pecan pie.

I KNOW. No having to debone quails or slow roast anything or use pig guts or scour the city for bizarre produce essential for the dish. Make the man macaroni cheese and I almost get out of wifely bedroom duties. Sweet.

This recipe involved no bechamel and a shitload of cheese. Shut up, that is so the technical term for when there is half a kilo of cheese in one recipe that isn’t cheese fondue.

Naturally, this recipe gets doubled in this house (it is made very rarely, the only people who truly enjoy it being Chef and Oscar) even though it is not a winner for some. But for Chef, it forms pretty much all of his diet for the following few days and it cuts me some slack in getting my bits out and shakin’ them all about.

Macaroni Cheese

The start

Cheese for macaroni cheese

The motherload

Macaroni cheese ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

macaroni cheese, half way through baking

We're half way there

Macaroni Cheese done

two four six ate...

Macaroni Cheese
via Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (not low fat)
  • 2 cups milk (not skim)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g (1pd) sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 250g (1/2 pd) elbow pasta, uncooked.
  1. Heat oven to 180C
  2. Use one tablespoon butter to grease a baking dish
  3. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together.
  4. Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping.
  5. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta.
  6. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until browned.
  9. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tonight I added about 4 spring onions to the blender and boy, did it add a beautiful subtle flavour to cut through the richness. Sometimes I use a variety of cheeses just to mix it up.

 

Onward!

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  • Ms Brown Mouse

    Because, seriously, who'd be able to bonk after a meal of fat, fat with extra fat? :)

  • kim at allconsuming

    OH Mrs BM. You haven't met Chef have you. Chef would. And could. Bless him.

  • blackbird

    Mac and cheese is the National Dish here…and has never put anyone off bonking (I'll just add.)
    But this is a kooky recipe! Cottage cheese? Uncooked pasta? Our recipes seem to always include making a damn roux which is a PITA.
    I'll have to try this.
    Also? You could put chunks of HAM in this, you know, to up the salty richness of the dish.

  • kim at allconsuming

    I was highly dubious of the whole cottage cheese thing, but it came from Smitten who apart from having the cutest baby in the entire world is very thorough with her recipes AND it came from the NYT! I KNOW.

    But you blend it all in a processor so you don't get chunky bits of hideous cottage cheese – so I'm guessing it's used for moisture and creaminess?

    And chunks of ham? Yeah, I know, but … GAG.

  • kim at allconsuming

    And if you look at this recipe you will realise it has a 2:1 ratio of cheese to pasta. INSANE.

    I must say, tonight's version (with the shallots) was far more palatable to me. But I am much more a lentils and beans kinda gal that these saturated fat monstrosities.

    If you are into this sort of thing, this version is HEAVEN.

  • Paola

    Me loves mac & cheese.
    It goes without saying that we don't have the required cheese here in good ole Italy so it's NONE for me.