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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mexican Mac and Cheese

My sister and I recently had the pleasure of visiting my daughter in New York and were lucky enough to go to some wonderful restaurants. She works as an interior designer  in hospitality and helped us decide from the millions of restaurants on my list. So many to choose from. In fact she told me you could eat out every night in New York for 58 years and never eat at the same place twice.!
We dined in many very good restaurants and enjoyed a wide variety of cuisines.
What does astound me is the Americans love of Mac and Cheese, or Macaroni and Cheese as it is correctly called. It is on many menus in very good restaurants, maybe with the addition of lobster, or duck to take it to another level.
There are restaurants totally dedicated to the dish and people line up to buy it.
Although there was Macbar near me in Soho, I didn't go there. I haven't eaten Mac and Cheese since a small girl but thought I would give this a try to remind me what all the fuss is about. I was pleasantly surprised. I made mine with a little touch of Mexican. A simple family winter meal. Play around with ingredients and change it next time.

375 grams macaroni or elbow pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
2 small chillies finely chopped
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra cheese
handful of chopped coriander

Cook the macaroni or pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Set aside.
Fry the onions, garlic, chilli and capsicum in a small amount of oil until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Melt the butter and mix in the flour and make a roux. Add the chicken stock and mix really well. Warm the milk and gradually add it to the stock mixture. Mix the two cheese into the roux and stir until the cheeses have melted.
Return the onion, capsicum, chilli and garlic to the sauce. Add the drained kidney beans and mix through. Adjust the seasoning. The mixture shouldn't be too thick as it will also thicken whilst baking.
Stir the pasta and the sauce together.
Preheat the oven to 160C
Place in a an ovenproof casserole and sprinkle with the extra cheese and chopped coriander
Bake for approx 30-40 minutes.

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