See the strand of melted cheese over the edge of the bowl? If you make this recipe you get to eat that
Oh shit, I have a website. Huh, I totally forgot about that. Sorry!
I've been busy lately. In addition to all of the usual holiday shenanigans (turning up and eating a lot), I graduated from university and joined the world of full-time work. Good fun. Unfortunately the long hours have made cooking new things difficult — the biggest hurdle is my lack of availability when the fresh produce markets are open — but I've taken that opportunity to cook with what I have around the house, which has led me to revisit a few of my old recipes.
While some of the recipes on this site are old favourites (and some aren't even mine), a reasonable proportion of them are written up after my first or second time making them. A brief, slapdash audit of the site has seen many of the recipes stand up to review, but if I could ask for a do-over it would be for the macaroni cheese.
The original recipe I posted tasted good, but it was a little too thick and there was too much sauce for the amount of pasta. Also, while I'm still a fan of the double-crust (cheddar topped with parmesan then grilled, giving a crunchy top with melting cheddar underneath), when I remade it I couldn't be bothered. Oh yeah, I also used bacon stock.
You see, since discovering bacon stock a few weeks ago it is now used in place of all other liquids. Carbonated it makes a refreshing but hearty cool drink, and if you don't mind being followed around all day by stray dogs it is perfectly fine to take a bath in the stuff. By boiling macaroni in bacon stock you infuse the pasta with bacony deliciousess and can satisfy the holy trinity of comfort food (cheese + bacon + starch) without pesky bacon bits getting in the way of the fun.
Something else you might notice in comparing this entry to the first macaroni one is the difference in photo quality. I've been trying to work on my photography skills, and thanks to a better understanding of lighting and a little colour correction I think I've definitely made some progress. Go me!
Bacon-y macaroni cheese
Ingredients (makes 1 big serving):
- 16g butter
- 1 heaped tbsp
- 3/4 cup cold whole milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp hot english mustard
- 130g cheddar cheese, grated (set one handful of this aside)
- 100g macaroni, cooked in bacon stock
- 1 tbsp reserved bacon-flavoured pasta water
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the flour. Cook this paste for 1 minute. Add the mustards and first quarter cup of milk and stir to combine. It will be lumpy at first but should thicken up with stirring.
2. Pour in the second quarter cup of milk and stir until it is smooth, then repeat with the final quarter cup of milk.
3. Preheat the oven grill/broiler. Add the cheese (minus 1 handful), pasta, and bacon-flavoured pasta water to the sauce and stir through until the cheese is mostly melted.
4. Pour this all into an oven-safe bowl or small casserole dish, scatter the top with the reserved cheese, and broil until the top is golden brown.