Thursday, 21 October 2010

butternut squash macaroni cheese with rosemary, bacon and parmesan

For some reason we have no default version of macaroni cheese, which is unlike most of the dishes we eat. I suspect there are usually a couple of variations kicking around for most of the recipes we cook, but whilst we may have dabbled with a few twists, we tend to have a go-to for each.

Incredibly we have at least four for macaroni cheese:
  1. A surprisingly dull Waitrose version with broccoli and cauliflower;
  2. Jamie Oliver's lovely if bank-breaking four-cheese version;
  3. A bog standard version using Annabel Karmel's tried-and-trusted cheese sauce, with a soupcon of RGB changes, namely adding mustard and parmesan to the cheddar mix;
  4. Grandma/Nanny made super-cheesy macaroni cheese;
Quite why this simplest of dishes resists order is beyond me, but tonight we add a fifth version to the list and - Praise Be! - we might have found a winner! Given it's from Delicious 2005, I'm mildly vexed it's taken me until now to find perfection, particularly as it's been sat under my nose all this time, but at least I can stop the hunt.

Like the Waitrose version it involves adding a veg, in this case mashed butternut squash which has been slowly boiled with cinnamon, garlic and a smidge of chilli flakes, but the winning tweak is the addition of the breadcrumb, bacon and rosemary crust. In a nod to Jamie's four cheese version, and also because I think *just* parmesan is a bit lightweight, I jazz it up slightly with some left-over marscapone and some of the Stinking Bishop Matt and Virginie left behind.

It is possibly the best one we've made yet. Even the newly-super-skinny Ana likes it which is odd because her cold only let's her taste "about 10% of the flavours" apparently.

Food of the Milos
Oh dear, this hacking cough he's developed seems to still be with us, usually I notice, between the hours of 0230 and dawn. Still he's chirpy this morning and manages to eat some apple and toast nibbles Ana makes him whilst I'm hiding in bed, and some porridge before going to nursery.

For dinner he has the choice of chilli bean stew (basically the left-over chilli bean burritos sans burrito), or some of Lucy's chicken curry I made on Tuesday night. Naturally he opts for the curry, proving he is our son after all, and I'm willing to put a bet on what he'll have tomorrow night if he's given the choice between the macaroni cheese and the chilli...

butternut squash macaroni cheese with rosemary, bacon and parmesan - Jamie's Quickies Recipe Card, Delicious 2005. Now it's in the Parsley Book

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