Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese Bake

When I was younger I used to love it when my Dad made his famous Mac & Cheese. I don’t know how he did it but it was always light and creamy but very cheesy and delicious. My mom on the other hand was the master of cauliflower and cheese, just the smell of her cheese laden veggie dish made a Sunday roast an even bigger event. So when I saw this recipe in Gordon’s Ramsay’s latest book, I knew I had to make it as an homage to my parents.

  • Skill level: a little effort
  • Preparation time: less than 10 minute
  • Cooking time: around 10 minutes
  • Baking time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g cauliflower florets
  • 300g dried macaroni
  • 60g butter, plus a few extra knobs
  • 4tbsp flour
  • 2tsp English mustard powder
  • 600ml whole milk
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g Lancashire cheese, crumbled
  • 100g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
  • 3tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 5 minutes until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh the cauliflower in cold water.
  2. Tip the macaroni into the water saved from cooking the cauliflower, and cook as per the instructions on the pack. When cooked drain and refresh under cold running water. Mix the macaroni and cauliflower together, along with a few knobs of butter.
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C/GM6.
  4. Heat the butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder to make a roux. Gradually add the milk, beating continuously with a balloon whisk until mixture is smooth.
  5. Slowly bring to the boil over a low heat, whisking frequently until the mixture thickens. Season well with the cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
  6. Mix the three cheeses together and stir half into the white sauce. Mix well until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  7. Add the macaroni and cauliflower to the sauce and mix well to coat. Spread the mixture into a large wide gratin dish.
  8. Combine the remaining cheeses with the bread crumbs and thyme, spread over the top of the macaroni and cauliflower mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the topping is golden and crisp.

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About Wesley

Like most people one day Wesley will die. Until then though, Wesley spends his days drinking coffee, watching the telly, and listening to BBC Radio... and on the days he is at work watching trains under the ground. Away from work he putters around in the kitchen, tends to his fish, watches films and occasionally reads a book, or works in his garden. Wesley is also a keen father to his two little princesses, and a slave to his wife.

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