Tuesday, November 27

I've never seen Dirty Dancing

"I've never seen Star Wars", so says the Radio 4 show. That's nothing... I've never seen Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Pulp Fiction, The Lion King, Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Schindlers List, The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Fight Club and the list goes on, and on.

I've come out; I am officially film-ignorant.

But what of food? 
I've never eaten frogs legs, a doner kebab, pie and mash (the proper kind with liquor), all kinds of offal, and macaroni cheese.

Macaroni cheese: the Dirty Dancing of the culinary world. Americanesque, comforting, homely and to me ... a mystery.

After consulting a few books to understand how this food slanket works, I have the concept and an idea of how to create my own.
Let's Eat: Tom Parker Bowles - ingredients list demands a trip to La Fromagerie or Waitrose cheese counter for everyone else.
Delia Smith Cookery Course Part 2 - o so fiddly. This is part pasta bake part souffle... not really necessary. Like going on Mastermind with a special subject of Allo Allo.
Jamie Oliver - The yin to Delia's yang... if its not in his 15 minute meals it should be. Where Delia has you whisking egg whites to stiff peaks Jamie reckons a white sauce is a step too far in the effort stakes.

Here's my version:

Macaroni (cooked as per instruction)
Cheese Sauce
Gratin Top

Cheese Sauce.
Make a quick roux, flour and butter. Add milk while on heat and whisk whisk whisk to thicken. Once thickened take off heat and add cheese. I used cheddar, gruyere and comte. It is a good opportunity to use up any hardened ends of past its prime cheese that you may have in your fridge.
I added black pepper and nutmeg. I feared it could be a little bland without the latter.

Gratin Top
Whizzed up a slice of bread and some parmesan.

Mix in the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over the topping and there you have a quattro formaggi macaroni. Bake until bubbling, approx 25 minutes.
Next stop Dirty Dancing, am I the only one who has never seen it?!

Macaroni cheese

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