|Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, oh my days, yes. Photo: Simoney Sunday|
This is a classic, comfort food dish and most people have their own way of making macaroni cheese.
But I like mine extra, extra cheesy, with minimum effort, stuffed with zing and flavour.
Obviously the fewer ingredients you have to buy, the better. But I like to use leftovers - either shreds of roast chicken from the Sunday dinner - or, in this case, two hot dog frankfurters that had failed to make it into a soft white roll and smothered in mustard and ketchup at a barbecue a few days before. They were so lonely, sitting there in my fridge... until Bad Boy came along.
Ingredients (Serves four)
1/2 pack macaroni; 250g of a 500g bag. I used Tesco's own label but a basics or budget one works just as well.
1/3 (roughly 150g) of a 450g block of mature cheddar. Again we used Tesco's own label.
3 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
Small knob of butter
1 brown onion
1 clove of garlic
In fact, everything here was Tesco's own label apart from the Frankfurters. Why pay through the nose for brand name food when you're cooking on a budget?
I grow my own mini chillies and chives on my kitchen windowsill, then dry and store the chillies for later. For this, I used just one.
Salt and Pepper
Lightly shaved parmesan and breadcrumbs for a topping. (TESCO!)
Put the macaroni in a saucepan and cover with water. Set it to boil and stir frequently to prevent it sticking.
Dice the onion, crush the clove of garlic, finely cut up the chilli and put these to brown a little in a frying pan with a little cooking oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Chop up the frankfurters and set these aside.
Grate the cheese and set aside in a bowl.
In a separate saucepan, drop in the butter, then the flour and stir into a smooth paste. Quickly add the milk and stir vigorously and continuously on a low heat to remove all lumps and bumps.
When it looks like it is starting to thicken, scoop a handful of grated cheese, the salt, pepper, parsley and paprika and stir together.
Once it has thickened into a yellow cheese sauce, take it off the heat and make sure it is not sticking to the pan.
When the macaroni has softened, drain immediately, and mix it into a casserole dish together with the onions, garlic, chilli, frankfurter and spinach.
Add the cheese sauce and make sure it is stirred in well.
Toss the remaining cheese all over the top of the mixture and put into a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees Celcius (gas mark 3) for about 8 minutes.
If you want to be extra, add a little grated parmesan to some breadcrumbs, then toss this over the cheese on top of the food before it goes in the oven.
Yep, it is delicious x