What happened to the sunshine? I had my heart set on a summer of making tropical gin smoothies and experimenting with hot salad combinations – all of this seems wholly inappropriate now that the temperature has dropped back below 10°c and every single pair of my shoes is soaked to oblivion.
In the face of this, I decided that it was time to fall back on some winter stodge, and comfort food doesn’t come much comfier than Macaroni Cheese. However, seeing as Lia and I would be making it, it would have to be filthier.
We decided to make it with 7 cheeses, and chucked in some chopped frankfurters too (I know, I was suspicious too, but I trusted Lia’s German instincts and it paid off, although next time I’m determined to try it with chorizo chunks instead). It was decadent, it was dirty, it was downright delicious.
So, if you’re intending to make this cheese behemoth, you will need the following…
- 300g macaroni pasta
For the cheese sauce:
- 300ml creme fraiche
- 150ml whole milk (or 100ml double cream if you really want to go all out)
- 350g cheddar (I used 200g extra mature & 150g mature cheddar)
You will also need LOTS of cheese. My selection was:
- 100g Jarlsberg
- 100g Stilton
- 100g crumbly goats cheese
- 50g Brie
- 50g Bavarian smoked cheese
First things first; preheat the oven to 190 C/Gas Mark 5/375 F.
Start by cooking the macaroni pasta in salted water – this should take 5 or so minutes as you want it to be al dente. Whilst this is going on you can make your cheese sauce. Put the cream fraiche and milk (or double cream) in a pan and heat until the mixture starts to boil. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat and stir in all of the cheddar, then season with salt and pepper. I also added half a teaspoon of nutmeg to my mix.
Once it is all mixed together and smooth you can decide if you want to thicken it up with cornflour or not. I was quite happy with the consistency of mine so once I had drained the pasta (it needs to be bone dry as any excess water will make the cheese sauce separate) I chucked them all in to a baking dish together.
I then crumbled all of the cheese on top, and Lia added the frankfurter garnish. The baking tray then went in to the oven for 20mins, giving us ample time to enjoy our Rioja and congratulate ourselves on how clever we are.
Et voilà; a dinner so indulgent that Elvis would probably do sit-ups beforehand.