Thursday 16 February 2017

Macaroni Cheese Crumble

Due to other commitments Mrs Larry couldn't come away this half term so I took the opportunity to take just Little Larry away for a spot of father and son bonding. We had a great time exploring Derbyshire and found a wonderful set of waterfalls among the ruins of old mills at Lumsdale. From my point of view it was great to be with just one child and dedicating all my attention on him, rather than splitting it between all three kids and not really concentrating on any of them. We shall definitely be doing more individual trips away with each Little Larry in the future.

Moving on to cooking, as Little Larry's favourite meal is macaroni cheese I thought we could have a go together at making it and hopefully teach him a few basic culinary skills along the way. The crumble bit comes from a topping of breadcrumbs and parmesan which adds a crunchy texture to that gooey, cheesey, carby heaven.

serves 4-5

250g Dried macaroni
200g Grated Cheddar cheese
35g Grated parmesan cheese
35g Breadcrumbs
35g Butter
300ml Milk
150ml Double cream
1x Garlic clove, crushed, diced or grated
1x Onion, finely diced
1x Pinch of nutmeg
2tbsp Flour
1tsp English mustard


1. On a medium/low heat sweat off the onion in a frying pan in 5g of the butter for about 10 minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes (Carnivores can add some chopped bacon here too). We're looking for slow caramelization so keep stirring and be careful it doesn't burn.
2. While the onions are are cooking boil the macaroni in salted water for about 8 minutes.
3. In a saucepan melt the remaining 30g of butter and add the flour, stir with a whisk and cook for about 2 minutes then add a good glug of milk. Keep stirring and slowly adding milk until you have a white sauce then mix in the cream, nutmeg and mustard before adding the cheddar cheese in batches. Taste the sauce and season with pepper and salt if needed.
4. Drain the macaroni then combine with the cheese sauce and onions in an oven dish. Allow to a cool a little before topping with the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.
5. Cook in the oven on gas mark 5 (190C) for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden. We roasted cherry tomatoes at the same time and wilted some spinach leaves by mixing them through the hot tomatoes and oil before serving.
6. Plate up and tuck in!