Friday 14 November 2014

Foodie Friday - Pimped Up Gluten Free Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese is probably one of the worlds favourite comfort foods, and it's easy to see why. You've got protein, and carbs in one easy to eat and easy to make meal. One of the problems of eating a predominantly wheat and gluten free diet is the lack of variety. Go into any supermarket and your overwhelmed by the varieties and shapes of pasta on display. Look down the free from aisle though and your lucky to see 3 or 4 varieties, spaghetti, fusilli, shells, and maybe lasagne if your lucky

Yes, I know you can make macaroni cheese with other pasta shapes but its not really the same. Thankfully things are changing - Amy's Kitchen produce a very, tasty gluten free, frozen macaroni cheese, and Heinz have now brought out a small free from pasta line which includes, drum roll, macaroni.

To the best of my knowledge it's only available in Asda and Morrisons but it's worth tracking down for that authentic macaroni cheese. This is my slightly pimped up version but you can make it as basic or as complicated as you like

Pimped Up Gluten Free Macaroni Cheese

500g Macaroni
100g Butter
100g Plain Flour
1 Pint Milk
1 tsp Mustard (Optional)
200g Grated Cheese
Salt and Pepper To Taste
Ham, or Chorizo, or Salami or Roasted Peppers, or Sun Dried Tomatoes, or Caramelised Onions

For The Topping 

2 Sliced Bread
1 Clove Garlic
150g Grated Cheese

1. Cook your pasta as per the packet instructions. I'm using a full bag of Heinz Gluten Free Macaroni.

2. Now it's time to make your topping, put your bread and your peeled garlic clove into a food processor,

and zap until you have breadcrumbs. Then mix in your grated cheese and set aside

3. Preheat your oven to about 180 C Cheese sauce time - there are lots of different ways to make this but the easiest way and the way that seems to work best with gluten free flour is this one. Put your milk, butter and flour into a large pan over a medium heat and keep stirring.

It will take a little while but it will start to thicken eventually. When your sauce starts to coat your spoon or whisk, add your mustard - I'm using smooth English mustard here but you can use what you like or leave it out.

Then add you grated cheese, I'm using a combination of Red Leicester and Mature Cheddar, and continue to stir until your sauce is thick and bubbling, then season to taste.

4. Then drain your pasta

and put it back in the pan, then add your vegetables, ham or chorizo. I'm using cooked Quorn Chorizo sausage which vegetarian and yummy! Then add your cheese sauce, reserving a little for later, and stir everything together.

5. Pour your pasta and sauce into a large baking dish, I'm using my lasagne dish here, and pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top

Finally sprinkle your pasta evenly with your breadcrumb mix, and bake for about 25 minutes

6.After 25 minutes or so your breadcrumbs should by golden and your macaroni cheese should be hot and bubbly.

It's best served warm so leave it to cool for a moment or to before serving.

This recipe will easily serve 6 people alongside a salad, or you can do what we did and keep it in the fridge, and reheat it the next day, either in the oven of the microwave

Obviously you can just make a plain macaroni cheese with no topping and no additions but I like the different flavour additions to what can be a rather bland dish. You can obviously add what ever you have in the fridge and whatever flavours that you like, but I like the heat that the chorizo brings. I also think that this would really nice with some of the vegetable additions that I've suggested, especially the caramelised onions.

Are you a macaroni cheese fan? Let me know in the comments x Happy Eating x


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