Easy Family Food on Friday – Macaroni Cheese
Fridays are for kicking back and relaxing, easing your way into the weekend and Fab Food will be bringing you a selection of easy veggie family favourites to fill them up and leave them smiling. This week’s offering comes courtesy of Emily over at Mummy Limited and is one of those store cupboard standbys we all need to be able to rustle up when small people are dragging at our trouser legs or when teenagers tumble through the door, ravenous with friends in tow!
My favourite meals are the ones where I can make one thing and everybody at the table can eat it. This isn’t always easy when catering for a toddler, who I politely describe as a careful and small eater and a nine month old who is like a mini human dustbin, but needs something he can eat with his hands.
Macaroni Cheese ticks all the boxes and you can make it even easier for a young baby by putting some in a small dish before oven baking, leaving this to go cold and then slicing into little bars of cheesy pasta deliciousness.
Picture by Emily D
The ingredients for this version were originally published in an Observer Magazine by Nigel Slater, but the way he makes his cheese sauce is so complicated it give me a headache and my way works just as well. I add no salt at all in cooking, making it suitable for babies under one. You can use some in the pasta water or cheese sauce if you wish, but I really don’t notice it’s absence. Please trust me on the addition of tomatoes, they really work.
Macaroni Cheese (serves 4-6)
175g mature cheddar
50g vegetarian Gruyère (or other melty cheese such as vegetarian Emmental)
50g vegetarian parmesan
50g white bread, crusts removed
1tsp Dijon mustard
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
- Grate all the cheeses, keeping on third of the parmesan and 25g cheddar separate.
- Tear bread into pieces and whizz in food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. Mix the breadcrumbs with the separated parmesan and cheddar.
- Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5
- Cook Macaroni as per packet instructions, when cooked drain and rinse briefly with very hot water to stop it sticking together.
- Melt butter in a saucepan. remove from heat and stir in flour to form a smooth paste.
- Return to a low heat and cook, stirring continuously for one minute.
- Start to add the milk gradually and keep stirring. If you do start to get lumps, don’t panic, there is no law against using a whisk, no-one will know!
- Keep stirring until sauce thickens, once it has add the mustard and stir in.
- Add the grated cheeses and stir until melted, mix in macaroni.
- Pour the macaroni cheese into a buttered dish, mine is a square one, 23cm across and 6cm deep.
- Sprinkle cheesy breadcrumbs on top and lay sliced tomatoes on the breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the oven for about 15mins and finish off with 3-5mins under a medium grill.
You could serve with salad but I prefer to partner this with leafy green vegetable or broccoli, because they are only improved by a bit of cheese sauce.
If you have a vegetarian family friendly Friday filler you’d like to see featured on Fab Food email us email@example.com and we’ll be in touch!