“Mac and Cheese” from “Bread Street Kitchen”

img_9562Here in London, there’s no denying that autumn is well and truly here: orange leaves decorate the pavement (and need raking), the days are getting shorter (and lights go on at 4 p.m.) and at our house, the heat is finally on (always the cause of many of celebration here). This also means it has become peak Mac and Cheese weather. Huzzah!

Being Americans, we come by our love of mac and cheese honestly. There’s a reason that every American diner/eatery offers it: We were raised on the stuff. Sure, the stuff we were raised on was day-glo orange and probably not the healthiest alternative, but we were raised on it just the same.

I’ve got a go-to recipe that we all love (thanks NY Times!) but we’re always willing to try new versions. I should say for the record we very rarely experience a mac and cheese that we don’t like.

This one was great. Creamy. Very cheesy. Crunchy on top. It did, however, require multiple pots and pans, which always bums be out a bit. (Our go-to recipe requires no pots and pans, just a long time in the oven.) We loved it, but alas, it did not knock our favourite off of its perch at No. 1.

If you’d like to try it yourself, Google Books has the recipe, which can be found by clicking through this sentence.

“Mac and Cheese” from “Bread Street Kitchen”

“Salmon with Macaroni” from “A Year of Good Eating”

IMG_8101Fish Friday!

I have to say upfront that I made this dish with a fair amount of trepidation, since I made something similar (Crab Mac and Cheese*) from the last book and it was– not to put too fine a point on it– GROSS.

Things change, tastes evolve and people mature. Perhaps that’s what happened in this case, because believe it or not, we liked it.

Maybe it was the generous amount of double cream used. Maybe it was the salmon. Maybe it was because it was a cold winter’s night and we needed the stodge. Whatever the reason, it was a hit.

Easy. Yummy. Popular. I’m sure we’ll have this on Fish Friday again.

If you’d like to give a try yourself, click through this sentence to find the original recipe in The Guardian.

*If you go back and look at that post, you’ll see that I used the exact same serving dish.

“Salmon with Macaroni” from “A Year of Good Eating”

“Macaroni and Cauliflower Bake with Three Cheeses” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

Maureen: I’ve got three words: Full of yum.

Andrew (13): I think it’s really good. Me gusta!

Nicholas (9): I think it’s really good. I tasted it a number of times now and it has the same consistency throughout.

Tim: It’s nice, but I wonder about the incremental gains from the one we usually have.

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Maureen: It depends which one you’re talking about. Is it the Jamie Oliver 30-minute-meals one, or the New York Times one that uses a pound of cheddar cheese?

Tim: The New York Times one, then.

Maureen: I think this one is better. Obviously, since it doesn’t have a pound of cheese in it, it’s better for us AND our arteries. I think this one is even better than the Jamie Oliver one, to which it’s pretty similar, because it has the combination of cheese, which makes it more interesting.

Nicholas: I think this may be my new favourite mac and cheese.

Andrew: I think I like the one we usually have better.

Maureen: I think I like this one better. It has cauliflower in it and the addition of more vegetables is always a good thing. I will probably be making this again.

“Macaroni and Cauliflower Bake with Three Cheeses” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Macaroni and Cheese” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Tim: What do you think boys?

Andrew (12) and Nicholas (8): Good!

Maureen: Nicholas, I didn’t put bacon on yours since you told me earlier today that you were “born hating bacon.” Would you have liked some anyway?

Nicholas: No. It’s perfect the way it is, without the bacon.

Maureen: Do you like this more, less or the same as our favourite macaroni and cheese? When I say “our favourite” I mean the New York Times recipe, not the Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Cauliflower Macaroni.

Continue reading ““Macaroni and Cheese” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook””

“Macaroni and Cheese” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

“Macaroni with Asparagus, Cream and Ham” from “A Taste of Home”

Anna: The spinach was a guest ingredient, but I actually think it made the dish.

Peter: This was good. I liked the fact it was a small pasta. The ham was a change from the usual pasta we have. It was like a luxury macaroni cheese. With vegetables.

Anna: I thought it reminded me of a carbonara actually. The salty ham and the cream and the parmesan.  It was so quick and easy we’ll definitely have this again I think.

Peter: You could probably adjust the vegetables for whatever is in season.

Anna: I’d do it just with the ham and spinach.  Angela did miss one trick with this recipe. She instructs you to cook the asparagus separately to the macaroni, when in reality you can do it in the same pot at the same time, and just take it out after a couple of minutes. One pot. Time saved. Simples.

“Macaroni with Asparagus, Cream and Ham” from “A Taste of Home”

“Macaroni cheese with bacon and mushrooms” from “Good Things to Eat”

Kirstin: I realised today when I was making this that I subliminally wanted to make an Italian version of this.

Tom: What do you mean?

Kirstin: I used pancetta instead of bacon because I forgot to buy any and I almost used mozzarella instead of cheddar.

 

Tom: Well, it was yum. Macaroni cheese can be all liquify and gooey. But this was more like frittata — it was just the crispy bits.

Continue reading ““Macaroni cheese with bacon and mushrooms” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Macaroni cheese with bacon and mushrooms” from “Good Things to Eat”