Monday, 17 August 2015


Every time I see a recipe for mac and cheese in a magazine, I rip it out, so consequently I have several! Thankfully we all love mac and cheese and it was the perfect comfort food to cook last Friday when it was pouring with rain. This is a recipe I found in Olive magazine from Mishkins in Covent Garden, a New York deli style restaurant. I have never tried to recreate a recipe from a restaurant before as I always think it would be too complicated but apparently this was "easy" so I thought I would give it a go.

It took around an hour to cook and prepare.

Ingredients for 4 people:

800ml semi skimmed milk
1 bunch of spring onions, white and green part both sliced and separated
300g macaroni
50g butter (and an extra knob for the pasta)
60g plain flour
100g Parmesan, finely grated
300g cheddar or Gruyere, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
120g pastrami, cut into strips
6 heaped tbsp of breadcrumbs

Put the milk and the spring onion whites in a pan together. Bring the milk to just below boiling point (this took a few minutes), then turn off and leave to infuse while you cook the pasta.

Cook the macaroni until al dente (according to the packet's instructions) in a saucepan of boiling salted water - ours took 6 minutes. 

When ready drain and mix with a knob of butter to prevent the pasta sticking. 

At this point preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6.

Melt the 50g butter in a large saucepan.

Stir in the flour to make a smooth pasta and cook for a couple of minutes.

Strain out and discard the onion from the milk and then very gradually stir the milk into the flour and butter until you get a smooth sauce. I used a whisk for this and originally felt that the sauce would never form but it did in the end! Don't give up!

Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until nicely thickened and then take off the heat and stir in half the Parmesan, two-thirds of the grated cheddar/Gruyere, a heaped tablespoon of mustard and season generously.

Stir in the macaroni, pastrami and spring onion greens and mix all together.

Tip everything into an ovenproof dish.

Scatter with the 6 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs.

Cover with the remaining Parmesan and grated cheese plus a little more salt.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (we did 30) until golden, crunchy and piping hot.

Cut into portions and serve.

Even though I probably say this about every mac and cheese I make, this was really really good. I absolutely loved the combination of the pastrami, spring onions and mustard plus the crispy topping was delicious. Pascal doesn't like a white sauce and I could see him turning his nose up when we were cooking this but he was very pleasantly surprised as he loved it too. As for Arabella, she wasn't too impressed when she saw some green on her plate as I had promised her no spinach or leeks like in Fay's Mac and Cheese however she absolutely adored it and now pronounced it as her favourite (her previous number one was chorizo mac and cheese). 

Another great recipe, I can't wait to tuck into our leftovers as I reckon it will be great reheated - plus it has also reminded me that I must pay a trip to Mishkins again soon!

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