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Posts Tagged ‘cheddar’

Macaroni Cheese

An old favourite and another taste of childhood. Sometimes I think that we get caught up trying to aspire to some sort of fine dining experience nightly, however, I think my favourite food is always peasant fodder. I mean, Spanish cuisine is all about simplicity, cheap, good ingredients cooked simply and well, from Fabada in the north, to Migas in the south west and Paella in the east. Anyway, I digress, but will definitely return to this topic. So anyway, mac and cheese… this is our take, and a classic version at that.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 250 grams elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Method

This recipe turned out fairly dry and if I did it again I would use less breadcrumbs and add more sauce and cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta in boiling water for roughly 7 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, make a roux by heat butter in a large saucepan until melted and slowly add the flour, stirring the whole time, until it begins to thicken. Add the milk in a slow stream, still stirring, until all liquid is incorprated. Continue stirring over heat for about 1 or 2 minutes. until sauce is thick.

Drain pasta and combine in a bowl with cheddar cheese and sauce. Stir together and pour into shallow baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top of the macaroni. Finally, cut 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter them on top of the breadcrumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Quiche Lorraine

We bought this flan dish last month, so I decided to make another quiche today. Decided to go “classic” and made Quiche Lorraine. I used general advice from Julia Child, but really kind of improvised, i.e I added some Cheddar cheese. The last quiche I made was good, but the advice I took was to add a layer of grated cheese to the base of the pastry, but on this version, I decided to incorporate the cheese into the mixture. For the pastry, follow our previous post. I like the simplicity of the recipe… there is no excessive whisking, just combine the ingredients and your good to go.

Ingredients

for the pastry

  • 175 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • pinch of salt

for the quiche mix

  • 1 cup of double cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100 g of lardons

Method

Make the pastry, follow the instructions in our previous post for Spinach, Cheddar, Roquefort Quiche. Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Fry the lard-ons in butter for a few minutes, set aside and cool. Then mix together the cream, milk, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then pour the mixture on to the pastry base. Then evenly sprinkle the grated cheese and the lardons on top of the mixture. They should sink. Place on a tray in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes until you get a nice golden colour on top. Serve hot or cold with a nice salad.

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Decided to attempt a quiche. I have made one once before. The pastry turned out really well, and took all of 2 minutes to make… I really liked the way the dish looked and luckily how good it tasted. The bacon I used was a little bland, and you need good quality bacon so that it works well with the cheese… Oh and leaving the pastry to rest in the fridge is essential.

Ingredients

for the pastry

  • 175g  plain flour,
  • 75g butter
  • splash of cold water

for the filling

  • 250g cheddar, grated
  • 50g of roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 200g bacon, chopped
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 100ml  milk
  • 200ml oz crème fraiche
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme

Method

For the pastry

To make the pastry, put the flour into a bowl, add the butter (which shouldn’t be straight from the fridge) in small chunks and blend together with your fingers. Don’t over work this. Next add a splash of cold water and it should start to come together to form a smooth dough, I added a tiny bit too much water and rectified it by adding a touch more flour. Wrap in cling film (shrink wrap) and leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins. Pre heat the oven to 190C . Just to say this recipe is for a 29cm diameter dish. Ok, now dust a surface with flour and roll out your pastry thinly and then line it in your greased dish. You are going to blind bake the pastry for 20 mins(which means covering the base of the pastry with greaseproof paper and then covering that with dried beans to weigh it down, so that it doesn’t rise. After the 20 mins, reduce the temp of the oven to 160C, remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then remove from the oven.

for the filling

Wilt the spinach in a pan, fry the bacon in a pan until crispy, Mix the beaten eggs with the milk and the crème fraiche, add a large pinch of salt and don’t over whip. Now you are ready to assemble the quiche. First put all of the grated cheddar cheese on the base of the pastry, then add a layer of chopped tomato, then pour your mixture over the top, finally adding the spinach and the bacon, the sprinkle the top with Roquefort and thyme. Bake in the oven at 160 for about 30-40 mins (mine actually took about 45 mins to set, but we don’t have a fan assisted oven. Serve in slices with a nice salad.

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