What a great weekend we’ve had at home. Like almost every weekend this year (Summer excluded), we’ve stayed at home. What have we done then? Nothing much. Just played with baby Erik, both Keijo and I have done our weekend runs and then we’ve just eaten. Eaten a lot. And what a better Sunday dish than a big bowl of smoky macaroni cheese.
This is a dish that I crave for on my long weekend runs. There is no better feeling that to dig into a cheesy pasta dish when you know you’ve worked for it and don’t have to worry about the calories. Ha! Although, I can’t say we would have had much thought about calories anyways during this never ending lockdown year. I seriously think we will emerge from our flat in 2021 with a lot of extra kilos to loose. A lot!
But that’ll be in 2021. Today we are going to enjoy this smoky macaroni cheese guilt free. And I’m going to argue it’s semi healthy anyways as I added a whole broccoli in it too. Plus aubergine bacon that I made using Minimalist Baker’s recipe (see here: https://minimalistbaker.com/crispy-eggplant-bacon/). I think the bacon really makes this dish and if you are a meat eater, then there is no reason why you couldn’t use the real deal. Just make sure you bake your bacon until it’s crisp.
Today I made a massive batch of this smoky macaroni cheese to last us for tomorrow and perhaps Tuesday as well. Below is a recipe for 4-5 portions but if you have a bigger household or would like to batch cook for the coming week then just increase the amounts. This dish stores well for a day or two in the fridge.
Here’s to another week in lockdown. Let’s make the most of it and at least enjoy some great home cooked food.
- 250g macaroni
- 1 broccoli head
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 2tbsp butter
- 2tbsp flour
- 200-250ml milk (I used oat milk)
- 150g cheddar cheese
- 1-2tsp dijon mustard
- 1tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- Smoked paprika and salt
- Bacon OR aubergine and spices as in Minimalist baker's recipe https://minimalistbaker.com/crispy-eggplant-bacon/
- First, make the aubergine bacon or real bacon. While in the oven, prepare the rest.
- To make the cheese sauce, finely chop the onion and garlic. Chop also the cheddar cheese into small cubes. Place a sauce pan over medium heat and add the butter, onion and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the flour. Whisk the mixture until it starts to bubble then add the milk whisking vigorously to avoid any lumps in the sauce. Add first 200ml of the milk and bring the sauce to simmer. The sauce will thicken when it reaches simmer and if it become too thick you can add more milk. Once you have a creamy sauce, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese cubes one handful at a time. When all the cheese is melted into the sauce, season with dijon, Worcester sauce, salt and liquid smoke if using. Keep warm under a lid while you cook the pasta and broccoli.
- Chop the broccoli into small florets and cook the pasta as instructed. Add the broccoli florets in the pan about 2-3 minutes before the pasta is cooked. Then drain and mix in the cheese sauce tossing around properly to make sure it covers all pasta and broccoli.
- Top with some smoked paprika and bacon pieces and enjoy.