I am a carnivore! I love all things good and meaty. With food inserts being filmed and the Post recipe page, I have to put my food wishes aside and put together a balanced recipe offering.
My daughter, Hetal almost 15 now…and going on 55 surprises me Sometimes they are pleasant, sometimes they are shocking! But she has suddenly developed a love for vegetarian food. How did she get through 14 years without me knowing that she loves paneer?
Sundays are busy days with the Mela food insert – you can find recipes after the show on the Mela Facebook page or get onto their twitter page too. I got into the kitchen quite early so I could clear my arvie for the Sunday dose of the show! If you missed the food mela, click here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7d-b10Pu_s
I took a time capsule back to Std 6 Home Economics and decided to re-create the old Macaroni and Cheese by turning it into a gratin for Hetal yesterday. Do you remember Home Economics from the good old days? I almost expected her to say that she would prefer chicken…another surprise…she polished off the macaroni and went back for seconds.
I tasted some and although I am not a huge fan of vegetarian food, it was delicious…slightly creamy with fresh thyme to delicately flavour the sauce….then topped with a layer of golden melted cheese! Just a word on the sauce, I added egg yolks to the sauce to add a little richness. If you are strictly vegetarian, omit the eggs from the recipe.
There are four easy steps to making up this dish, first the pasta and while that is on, I get going with the basic sauce and while that is cooling slightly, I saute the mushrooms. Assemble and bake! The ‘Big Mac’ just got a makeover!
For more pasta recipes, don’t forget to check out the Post Newspaper this week and you can also enter the AMC cookware competition!
Mushroom Macaroni Gratin
Butter, to grease baking dish
45ml sunflower oil
400g button mushrooms, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
5ml crushed garlic
Salt, to season
10ml Curry me Home Magic Masala or crushed chilli flakes
Black pepper, to season
100g cheddar, grated
For the sauce:
50g cake flour
750ml full cream milk
1 bay leaf
100ml fresh cream
2 egg yolks, optional
50g cheddar, grated
Salt to season
Cook the macaroni with salt and a little oil in a large AMC pot with boiling water. Check the packaging for the cooking time.
Grease the baking dish with butter.
Heat the sunflower oil in a 28cm AMC chef’s pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms on high and add the fresh thyme.
Once the mushrooms are golden brown, add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes or Magic Masala.
Toss the mushrooms and season with salt – leave aside.
Heat the butter in an AMC saucepan on medium. Once the butter melts, stir in the cake flour and use a wooden spoon to mix until smooth.
Add the milk gradually and whisk well between each addition, making sure the sauce is smooth. Add the bay leaf and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir the cheese into the sauce and whisk until smooth. Add the fresh cream and leave the sauce to cool slightly.
Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Pour the sauce into the beaten eggs and whisk until combined.
Stir the cooked mushrooms into the macaroni, add half the sauce and mix gently to combine. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared oven dish and pour the remaining sauce over the macaroni. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C for 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.