Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seriously good mac ' n cheese

It's hard to resist bubbling cheese 
Macaroni cheese was something I couldn’t face growing up as it was so often presented as a slop with a flavourless pasty sauce. But then I went to Italy and learnt how to cook pasta, and learnt a thing or two about sauces at  Le Cordon Bleu School in London … finally, I was brave enough to make my own version of the family favourite Macaroni Cheese. Yep, I have tinkered with it and taken flavours to the max starting the sauce with a softened onion cooked to golden, and added mustard and vintage cheddar, then I’ve layered it with crispy bacon bits and chopped tomatoes and smothered the lot with cheese and crumbs to form a golden crusty blanket. Oh-err! It’s the best I’ve every eaten. And, if you can’t give yourself a pat on the back from time to time … well!
There are lots of tricks though, like you always need more sauce than you think, and it needs to be thinner than you think. So read about it here and get cooking it tonight.

 Another great weeknight dish, or Saturday casual dinner to feed a crowd, is Chili con Carne. I throw in a handful of soft chorizo sausages to add bulk. The result is warming, spicy and filling. Finish it off in the classic way with sour cream, or see my novel way with avocado. http://sharedkitchen.co.nz/recipe/chili-con-carne-with-extras/
For something different, a rich creamy artichoke sauce on pasta – using bottled artichokes. It’s easy to do, but like all creamy pasta sauces, it needs to be served piping hot.http://sharedkitchen.co.nz/recipe/pappardelle-artichokes-sage-cream/

 Lots more to talk about this week … have you ever put pen to paper and scribbled down a thought or two and wondered if what you have written is worth anything? Have you created poetry? Most likely you have. Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2017 is on 25 August with over 100 events taking place around New Zealand.
Join in a poetry slam. Enter a poetry competition. Read poems to your kids. Get bold and share your written words with family and friends. Unleash the power of words!!!!
And check out Waiheke's Poetry Love Jam.

 Finally, I want to talk about DISH magazine. I’ve been writing a column for DISH for nearly 2 years now, featuring seasonal ingredients, and I now write an additional 2-pager on a ‘How-to’ theme. In the current issue, featuring a gorgeous roast pork belly and all the trimmings on the cover, I delve into the tips and tricks of making sauces, how to make a pan jus, and how to make delicious gravy. Online you’ll find my seasonal column on cavolo nero. Check it out herehttp://www.dish.co.nz/cooking-with/article/2017/7/season-cavolo-nero

Gotta go, gotta write, gotta cook, and gotta eat my mac ‘n cheese leftovers! See ya!

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