Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated on Summerhill Stud in the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, South Africa.

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese Photo : Jackie Cameron

Macaroni and Cheese
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Recognizing that unhealthy eating habits in children result in unhealthy  adults, grown health awareness demands a new emphasis on the value of  sensible nutrition over convenience foods. Get into the habit of  “double” cooking, where possible, and freezing the surplus, so that  healthier food is available when time isn’t. When I think excellent  value-for-money, I think homemade macaroni and cheese. Plain or schussed  up, both are scrumptious.

Yields: 4 – 6 portions

Ingredients:

Pasta

500 g Macaroni

50 ml Salt

5 l Water

Mornay Sauce

2 L Milk

5 Peppercorns

1 Bay leaf

5 ml Salt

1 medium Onion - chopped

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

120 ml Flour

120 ml Butter

200 g grated cheese

Garnish

60 g grated cheese

2 Tomatoes sliced thinly

A few optional extras:

Sauté Bacon and Onion

Sage, Onion and Chicken

Selection of Herbs

Corn Kernels and finished with a bit of Coconut Cream

Tomato, Basil and Pine Kernels

Method:

Pasta

1) Fill a large pot with water and salt (chef’s note: work on an average that for every 100 g of pasta use 1 litre of water and 10 g salt. Pasta loves salt so don’t be scared to add.)

2) When water is boiling add pasta and stir to prevent pasta sticking

3) Cook until al dente (firm to the bite) about 10 minutes

4) When the pasta is cooked spoon the pasta out of the water with a slotted spoon into a colander. (Chef’s note: to prevent the starch sticking to the pasta and making the pasta quills stick to one another.)

5) Run cold water over the pasta

6) Drizzle the pasta with olive oil and mix in freshly chopped herbs. (Chef’s note: I always add pesto or freshly chopped herbs to pasta to enhance the flavour)

Mornay Sauce (An enriched béchamel sauce with grated cheese added for flavour)

7) Bring the milk with the peppercorns, bay leaves, chopped onions and thyme to the boil allowing the flavours to infuse. Strain and set aside

8) Make a blond roux (chef’s note: a cooked mixture of equal amounts of flour and butter, used to thicken many sauces. For a blond roux the flour and butter must be cooked until golden in colour to ensure the floury taste is lost.) Get a pot on the heat and add the butter. When melted add the flour and cook until golden.

9) Slowly add the warm milk so no lumps form. Bring to the boil and allow simmering until correct consistency is reached. Finish with grated cheese, salt and pepper.

Macoroni and Cheese

10) Combine the Mornay sauce with the pasta and put into a deep oven proof dish. Optional extras can always be added at this time. Grate Cheddar cheese over the top of the pasta and slice tomatoes thinly to garnish.

On service

11) Place into a warm oven and gratinée the top. Ready to serve

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713