Monday 24 June 2013

June 2013 - Crunchy mac and cheese with bacon

Hmm, it has taken me almost a whole month to post this. I made this on the 1st of the month. My words have taken a holiday and it is so very frustrating. I have started a few posts and haven't gotten very far with any of them. I think I will just have to push it for a while. Even if it means just posting some recipes and photos at least that will keep things happening on here. I do keep cooking food so it will also keep it from building up too much. 

As for this issue of delicious magazine, well, there wasn't that much that I really wanted to make. Besides the mac & cheese that I ultimately made. There was really only two other recipes. The first was Katie Quinn Davies' Smoky beef chilli con carne. With an ingredients list as long as your arm it looks to be a complicated recipe but when you read further into it it really isn't that difficult. I do find that a lot of recipes that have long ingredients lists aren't really that complicated. The main reason I didn't make it is because I didn't have everything on hand. I can never get chipotle chillies in adobo sauce anywhere other than online and sometimes I just don't want to have to purchase everything online. When shopping online it isn't just a matter of picking up one item and going due to postage costs. Previously I haven't really worried about it and just filled a cart up but that is how I ended up with a huge amount of food on hand with random bits and pieces some of which I am not really sure what to do with now. Oh and the recipe used bourbon, I don't drink it so don't have it on hand. Alcohol is expensive, especially spirits, something else for "one day". Maybe the next time I am making pecan pies, my recipe isn't the same without bourbon. 

I also really liked the look of the crumbed wasabi chicken with crunchy japanese salad. Although I probably wouldn't make the salad. The only thing that puts me off is using ground wasabi peas. I did that with salmon before and it was so hard to grind up the peas, although in this recipe the aren't ground finely, just coarse so it probably wouldn't be as difficult. There is also a mix of mayonnaise and wasabi paste to go with it. The recipe just says whole-egg mayonnaise but, really, if you are making something with Japanese flavours surely it requires kewpie mayonnaise. 

I ended up making Katie Quinn Davies Crunchy mac and cheese with bacon. It was very good, a lovely bit of comfort food because that is what mac and cheese is for me. There was really only two differences to what I would normally do, the first is that there was some cream in it and secondly the breadcrumbs on top. The recipe used a combination of panko and sourdough breadcrumbs. I didn't have any sourdough so I just used all panko. Oh and I put some parmesan in as well. I served with chicken thigh fillets that I had dredged in flour and hot smoked paprika and pan-fried. The creaminess of the mac and cheese combined beautifully with the spiciness of the chicken.

Crunchy mac and cheese with bacon

400 g macaroni, cooked and drained (I used shells)
50 g unsalted butter
1/3 c (50 g) plain flour
3 c milk 
250 g strong vintage cheddar, grated 
1/4 c grated parmesan (my addition) 
Pinch nutmeg
250 g bacon, finely chopped, cooked until golden & crisp
1 c parsley, chopped
1/2 - 1 c panko breadcrumbs

Melt butter, add flour and cook, stirring 1 - 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking after each addition until smooth and thickened. Add 200 g cheese and parmesan, stir to melt then add cream and nutmeg. Combine macaroni, cheese sauce and bacon. Spread into individual baking dishes or a large baking dish, top with combined breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 C or until golden.


  1. That looks brilliant, now that winter is truly upon us it is a great time to make mac & cheese too :)
    Re the chilli con carne, I'd love to see the recipe if you are up to typing up that long list of ingredients!! I know what you mean about the hassle of ordering online when you only want one item. You can substitute smoked paprika to get the flavour of chipotle chilles, mix it in with some tomato puree to get the consistency of adobo sauce (and I'd probably add a little extra chilli powder to it too for the heat if you like it hot). I wouldn't worry about adding the burbon either unless I had some to hand or could buy a small bottle that they sometimes sell at bottleshops. Happy cooking!

  2. Hi Sylvia, I will type up in a post over the weekend. :) Thank you for the suggestion on the substitute for the chipotle. Yes, you are right that the bourbon isn't necessary but a lot of the time the addition of it really adds to the final result. I know that my pecan pies just aren't the same without the bourbon.

  3. Oh you're the best! I look forward to reading it. The pecan pies sound lovely too.