Some people lose their appetite when times are gloomy, not me. I am still as ravenous as ever but I do tend to fixate upon a certain type of food. That food is the type of food that harks back to another era. Food that is such a retro classic that I am posting this as part of Waiter There’s Something in My … Retro Classic. For me the ultimate classic is macaroni and cheese. It is endearing in its simplicity and the innocence of a meal constructed almost entirely of cheese and pasta. In a time before low carb diets and balanced eating became buzz words macaroni and cheese reigned supreme.
This version is based on the Nigella Express recipe for macaroni and cheese and so it uses evaporated milk rather than a white sauce. This is supposed to save time, however I am not convinced it is that time saving so if you have an extra five minutes I would adopt the traditional approach of flour, milk and butter for a white sauce rather than evaporated milk. I have given Nigella’s recipe a slightly more contemporary twist by scattering some crispy bacon bits on top and adding a dash of Dijon mustard to the creamy sauce.
250g mature Cheddar grated
250ml evaporated milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 rashers of bacon sliced into small pieces
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions, drain and then return to the pot.
2. Meanwhile put the cheese, evaporated milk, eggs and mustard into a bowl and mix to combine.
3. Slice the bacon into small pieces and fry until lightly browned in a fry pan. Leave to drain for a few minutes on a piece of kitchen towel.
4. Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni, stir in the bacon and season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until browned on top.
Serves 4. Based on a recipe from Nigella Express.
If you liked reading this and are in the mood for comfort food try this recipe for Smoked Haddock and Salmon Fish Cakes or if you are feeling nostalgic in London head to A Gold - the way a corner store used to be.