Wednesday, 10 December 2014


I'm well aware that there is a recipe on this blog for a lully low cal alternative to your regular Mac and Cheese. However recently, now that the cold is biting and the darkness descends over Liverpool earlier and earlier each day you just need to have something that just makes you feel all warm and cosy inside. So forget that diet and tuck into this truly satisfying mac and cheese,peppered with crunchy onions and mushrooms and then covered in a beautifully crisp and golden brown bacony breadcrumb blanket.

The one thing that does annoy me about mac and cheese is that it can get very samey to eat and really sickly if you use cream to thicken the sauce. For this reason I like to add in the onions and mushrooms to add some extra flavor and texture to the dish. Feel free to add other veg in too, broccoli or cauliflower would work really well to create some kind of cauliflower cheese and pasta hybrid dish or how about some sprouts to give it a christmassy vibe!

My topping contains my old friend, the little crispy bacon bites that I love to add in with the breadcrumbs to really give that meaty crunch to the topping. If you are veggie then by all means leave them out or if you really want to be fancy then make your own by frying up some finely chopped chorizo or lardons. If you really can't get enough of cheese either then throw some ripped pieces of mozzarella into the topping to add a layer of stringy gooey cheesy goodness.

Ready for a winter treat. Here comes the recipe:

Mac And Cheese

350g Macaroni
1 Large Chopped Onion
Handfull Chopped Mushrooms
1 Grated Garlic Clove
1 Tbsp Mustard Powder
1 Heaped Tbsp Plain Flour
500ml Semi Skimmed Milk
250g Grated Cheddar
Salt And Pepper to Season
Handfull Breadcrumbs
Handfull Bacon Bits

  1. Cook your macaroni as per packet instructions less two minutes. You want it to be just on the verge of cooked. It will completely cook during the bake later. Drain and leave to one side.
  2. In a large lightly oiled pan, add in the onions, mushroom and garlic and fry until the onions begin to soften. Add in the mustard and flour and keep stirring for around 5 minutes until a slightly paste like mixture forms in the pan.
  3. Add in the milk and whisk whilst you bring the milk to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes, whisking as you go whilst the mixture thickens slightly. 
  4. At this point, turn your oven up to 200 degrees (180 fan).
  5. After the five minutes, throw in all but a small handfull of the grated cheese and keep whisking until the cheese has all melted and the sauce has thickened more. Season with salt and lots of pepper before removing from the heat and transfer into an ovenproof dish.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, bacon bits and the reserved grated cheese and sprinkle this over the mac and cheese. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden.
Remove from the oven the leave to rest for five minutes before dishing out. Remember that your dealing with melted cheese here so make sure you give your portion a good old blow before you eat it.

You can get that beautiful full feeling after tucking into a plate of this and all you want to do afterwards is veg on the couch, cuddle up and watch a movie.

Forget about burning this off for now. Remember; "Diet starts Monday!"

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