Mac’n’cheese is by far one of my favourite comfort foods, plus it’s super easy and quick to make. Although most americans know how to cook it up off by heart, the recipe evades most of us english and even I have only just cooked it for myself for the first time. When searching for a recipe I only came across baked versions, and as I much prefer the creamier wet version to when it dries out in the oven I came up with my own way of doing it.
Most recipes call for using mainly cheddar cheese, but I decided to use mainly Leerdammer with just a small handful of cheddar as I prefer the creaminess of Leerdammer and find it tastes a lot less heavy than just using cheddar on it’s own.
400g macaroni pasta
150g leerdammer cheese
50g cheddar cheese
50g plain flour
Firstly melt the butter up then gradually add in the flour until it’s created a paste, then slowly add in the milk until you have a smooth watery mixture.
Keep mixing over a gentle heat for around fifteen minutes without taking your hand off the whisk, then once it’s the same consistency of double cream start to add in your cheese handful by handful. I find that using the smallest setting on the grater helps as it means the cheese melts in a lot quicker. It’s really important to get the mixture as gloopy as possible so you don’t end up with watery pasta, it wants to be almost the same as fondue.
You will want your macaroni pasta to be cooking at the same time that you are creating the cheese mixture so that they are both ready at the same time, luckily they take exactly the same amount of minutes.
Once the pasta is nice and soft but still has bite to it then drain it off for at least a few minutes until you’ve got rid of all the water, then put it all back in the big pan before pouring in the cheesy sauce. At this point I then add in the cheddar cheese so that it only half melts which creates stringy cheese within the pasta.
Finito! Once you’ve mastered the simple mac’n’cheese recipe you can then start adding in whatever else you fancy, like mushrooms or leeks, or you can even dust it with paprika. I’m going to try and perfect the baked version soon so that I can put up a little post about that too.