Browsing Tag

pasta

Heston’s Macaroni and Cheese

Recipes May 26, 2012

 

Hello blogging world.

I know I keep saying this, but sorry again for the lapse between posts. I’ve been finding it a little bit hard to get the time to cook, let alone photograph and do some writing.

Here’s a little update on what’s been up with me lately ūüôā

I burned my hand a little while ago in a misadventure in the kitchen and had to go to hospital. Fortunately they were quite forthcoming with the fun drugs and after a less than fun experience, my hand is healing up well – hopefully with no long term scarring. I had to have a week off work though as it made typing and driving impossible!

Here is a fun pic of me at the hospital with my lil bandaged hand. And yes, I am smiling because of the drugs. Haha.

A good friend of mine introduced me to Heston Blumenthal cooking videos and I’ve been hooked ever since! He convinced me to poach eggs for the first time and they were soo good I made them twice in one day!

They came out so deliciously buttery soft and the yolk was sooo rich.

Check out Heston’s method for poaching eggs by clicking here.

The only thing I have against Heston now is that I can’t stop thinking about his deliciously drool-worthy recipes. I can’t get the thought of his amazing roast chicken out of my mind, but who has two or so days time to brine, dry out and roast a chicken? Sorry, not me! That doesn’t stop the image of juicy roast chicken from floating through my mind though…

Nothing else much new to report, except that I’m back from my trip to Fiji a couple of months ago and I’m off to Rome for the first time in less than three weeks. I’ve never done this much traveling so close before! Loving it. ¬†I’m visiting Venice, Naples, Pompeii and Sorrento. Do you guys have any travel tips for me? I’d sure love to hear them!

Now, onto the cooking.

As I said, I’ve been drooling all over Heston’s recipes at the moment but a lot of them require an awful lot of time and effort – and as those who have read my blog in the past – that’s just not me! I love things that are simple and easy to throw together. Fortunately, Heston’s recipe for macaroni and cheese¬†seemed like one of his more simpler recipes.

How to Cook like Heston’s Macaroni and Cheese
(click the above link for original recipe). this recipe is slightly adapted.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams macaroni pasta (Heston used much less and my pasta was much less saucy. I just used the whole packet and probs should have made more sauce. Whoops. Sauce/pasta ratio wasn’t too bad though.)
  • 15ml truffle oil (I¬†didn’t have any, so i skipped this. Would love to add some next time, when I have some!)
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock (I used Campbells Real Chicken Stock from the tetra pak)
  • 80 grams cheddar cheese (I used maybe 90 grams of Cracker Barrel Gold Cheddar)
  • 10 grams corn flour
  • 80 grams cream cheese
  • 15g goats cheese, diced (I skipped this)
  • cheese for topping (I used grated parmesan)

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until cooked. Drain and toss with truffle oil (if using.) Set aside.

Prepare cheddar cheese by grating into a bowl and tossing with cornflour. Set aside.

To make sauce, reduce white wine over high heat until it reaches about 30ml (or a tenth of what you started with.) Pour in chicken stock and heat until quite hot but not boiling. Take off the heat and add grated cheese and cornflour mixture and stir until cheese melts. You may need to return the pan to the heat to help the cheese melt, but don’t allow it to boil (as Heston says this may allow the cheese to squeeze the fat out and ruin the sauce.)

Add cream cheese and incorporate into the sauce until it is smooth and creamy. Add cooked pasta and stir through until pasta is hot. Add seasoning if desired. I added some dried parsley flakes for added colour. If you are using the goats cheese, add to pasta just before serving. Serve, with freshly grated parmesan.

Verdict

This was quite a nice dish, but to be honest I didn’t completely love it. I think its the sort of recipe you really need to experiment with using different cheeses. I used quite a strong cheddar (and I’m hardly a cheese¬†connoisseur by a long shot!) so I just picked up this hard cheese from the cold section at Coles – but they had a very wide variety, so honestly I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of result I’d get from each cheese. Heston uses a Spenwood cheese in his original recipe but recommends substituting it with a good quality cheddar if you couldn’t find it (which I couldn’t, not at Coles anyway!) I picked a Cracker Barrel Gold Cheddar to use and topped with a little freshly grated parmesan.

For me, I think I’d use a different, milder variety of cheese next time and I’d probably add either some herbs (fresh chives would be good) or something else (I was thinking maybe some sweet corn) to add a shot of sweetness and balance out the sharpness of the cheese.

I enjoyed learning a new method of making a cheese sauce outside of starting with a roux, though so that was definitely a nice change that I will be using again! I definitely would like to try out some different cheeses as well as the addition of goats cheese and truffle oil next time.

xoxo
Christine

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final-seasoning

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pasta

Recipes April 12, 2010

This pasta recipe is an old family favourite. It’s really easy, cheap and delicious and feeds a crowd. 

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta 
Ingredients

750g shell pasta, cooked to pack instructions 
2 brown onions, roughly chopped 
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
4 tablespoons of butter
400g tin cream of mushroom soup 
1 cup grated tasty cheese
4 tablespoons of plain flour
2 cups (500mls) of (cold) milk (more or less. depends on how thick you want your sauce.) tip: using cold milk for a bechamel means less lumps! 
The shredded meat from 1 large barbecue chicken 

Melt butter in a heavy based oven-safe pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion softens. 

Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute, or until the flour is slightly golden and smells nutty. Add the milk, whisking continuously until fully incorporated. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cream of mushroom soup and the cheese and whisk until cheese has melted. TIP: If the sauce consistency isn’t right, either reduce it until thickened or add more milk to lighten it.  

Add shredded chicken and pasta and toss until just heated through. 

TIP: Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with a mixture of extra cheese and panko breadcrumbs and grill until melted.

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