My daughter’s favourite meal is mac and cheese and there’s been an occasion when she’s put in a request and I just haven’t had time to knock one together. Fortunately, my mother came round and while she’s not the greatest of cooks, her added years means she knows a shortcut or two! So this is her quick cheats version that can be put together in record time. I can pick my daughter up from school and 30 minutes later she can be sitting at the dinner table wolfing this down. More importantly, it’s still just as delicious for the adults. It has a more naughty and indulgent taste and consistency to your average macaroni cheese and you can tinker with the parmesan dependent upon your (or your children’s) tastes. My wife adores this with a double portion of parmesan on top, some extra red Leicester, with the whole thing grilled for a few minutes to make it go a bright orange and crunchy texture!
- 9 ounces / 250g macaroni
- 9 ounces / 250g hard cheese
- ¾ ounce / 20g Parmesan cheese
- 9 fluid ounces / 250ml of evaporated milk
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of paprika
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / gas mark 7.
Cook the macaroni in accordance with the instructions on the packet.
While the macaroni is cooking, grate the cheese, including the Parmesan if you are not using ready-grated.
Reserving about a quarter of the Parmesan cheese for later, put the rest of the cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, and paprika into a bowl and mix. This is best done in a processor or with an electric hand blender.
Drain off the water and put the macaroni back in the saucepan.
Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni, stirring well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into a suitable oven dish, preferably one that is wide and shallow, square or circular. A good circular size is around 10 inches / 25 cm in diameter.
Bake for 15 minutes until it is bubbling.
Just before serving, spring the top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.
Any kind of hard cheese such as cheddar or red Leicester will do, and you can mix two or more varieties if you wish.
Macaroni cheese is the number one cheese recipe in the United States and has been consistently in the top ten of America’s comfort foods for many years. Every three months, at least one third of the US population will eat macaroni cheese. The earliest known recipe for a dish approximating to macaroni cheese was in the 13th century in southern Italy, which specified lasagne sheets and fermented cheese. A red Burgundy is considered the most suitable wine to accompany macaroni cheese.