Friday, 14 October 2011

Not Quite Mac & Cheese

Three Cheese and Bacon Macaroni

So I think I mentioned that I've been a bit lazy with cooking lately. Well.. Not so much lazy as overbooked. I'm trying to spend time with my grandma while she visits, and so I'm not home for the usual baking and cooking adventures. I wanted to make one nice thing for us for supper this week, and with Ralph's love for bacon and mine for pasta, we were easily led to this.

Now I can't say that this was my favourite pasta, but that's not to say it wasn't nice. Ralph enjoyed it and even had it for lunch the next day. I was looking forward to another alternative to mac & cheese and this just didn't have the elements I love about mac & cheese. Mac & cheese for me just has to be saucy, and mine tends to have something healthy snuck in (kindof like this one). I compensated for the lack of veggies in this pasta by making some sauce out of cherry tomatoes, and serving it alongside. A good note on miniature tomatoes: if you're planning on making a sauce, either buy the small ones, or cut the big ones up. I bought big ones and used them whole, and the sauce took a little longer to make that I would have liked. I'm completely hooked on this tomato sauce by the way- I want to make it with everything!

I tried to make the recipe a tad healthier by using turkey rashers instead of bacon, as we've been meaning to try them out. It made for a nice warm supper after a long day (Ralph and I are trying to get back into running again), but it just didn't give me that 'ahhhh.....' moment that I get when I know I've made us a gorgeous hugging meal that we deserve after such a long day.

Three Cheese and Bacon Macaroni
Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures, originally from Everyday Food

200 g curly macaroni
5 turkey rashers
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 extra-large eggs
380 ml evaporated milk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
1/2 cup grated gouda
1/2 cup parmesan

1) Preheat oven to 250 C or highest below.
2) Boil curly macaroni for 6 minutes, until not quite done. Drain and place into a large bowl.
3) At the same time, fry the turkey rashers until nice and crispy, then add garlic and stir through. Take out of the pan and add to the bowl. Try not to take too much oil along.
4) Whisk the eggs and the milk together. Add the cheeses and spices and mix well. Add to the bowl and mix well, but gently.
5) Tip into an oiled oven pan (I used a large glass rectangular one).
6) Put in the oven for about 12 minutes. DO NOT wait for it to boil or brown on top. I'm used to things cooking in the oven, but due to the eggs this simply solidifies. I overcooked mine a bit by waiting for too long. Not badly though- but don't make the same mistake.

All in all it was a pleasant supper, and a brand new experience in cooking (evaporated milk!). Also - turkey rashers aren't so bad! I do Weight Watchers so it's nice to have an almost viable alternative to bacon (Ralph would want me to add that NOTHING is an actual alternative to bacon)! He took the photos, but we were both so exhausted from our long (5 - 6km) run (slowish walk) that the photos didn't come out too well. I think the two I used are great though!

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