Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

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Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby suffolk » March 22nd, 2018, 4:04 pm

I love a classic creamy plain macaroni cheese ...... but it's also a wonderful base for flights of fancy ....while on holiday a couple of years ago OH had the most wonderful Macaroni Cheese with Lobster :drool: and there are some tempting ideas here https://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-fe ... four-ways/

How do you pimp your macaroni cheese?
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby smitch » March 22nd, 2018, 4:40 pm

I like to put some chopped red jalapenos in the sauce. I used to add mustard but I'm now allergic :cry: Apart from that, I am not that adventurous with my recipe.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 22nd, 2018, 4:47 pm

I often do half mac half cauli or broccoli, or play around with different cheeses but otherwise haven't tried much
It occurs to me leeks would work and while lobster is a bit pricey, flaked smoked haddock with fairly mild cheese would be good (cf. omelette Arnold Bennet)
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Suelle » March 22nd, 2018, 4:49 pm

Sometimes it's a question of how far you can go before it becomes just a pasta bake using a cheese sauce.

To reduce the carbs, I like to use some cauliflower - is that a cauliflower cheese with pasta, though? :D

A little bacon is nice, and (when I'm not worrying about carbs) a crisp breadcrumb topping.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby capricornbcaroline » March 22nd, 2018, 5:41 pm

I like this version with tinned artichokes https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/macaronicheesewithar_91967 and for years I've done a variation of this Delia recipe with leeks and bacon https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/pasta/penne-with-leeks-and-bacon. All very delicious.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby earthmaiden » March 22nd, 2018, 6:06 pm

I do adore plain macaroni cheese but like the sound of lobster :chops: .

I agree with Suelle, at what stage does it become pasta bake? I do like assorted veg and pasta in a cheese sauce but that's more of a bake. I don't care for ham or bacon but pieces of sausage work.

I'll stick with plain macaroni cheese - topped with a cheese and crumb mix and thinly sliced tomatoes. My favourite food in the world.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby liketocook » March 22nd, 2018, 8:17 pm

I'm not keen on "plain" macaroni cheese - it's the texture so tend to add bits to it. Chopped crispy bacon, corn and spring onions are my favourite topped with cheese & breadcrumbs. Just small amounts each though, just enough to give it a bit of bite. I've not had it with lobster but that sounds lovely. :D
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 22nd, 2018, 8:48 pm

I looked at the Hairy Bikers version oflobster mac 'n' cheese
Seems simple enough, and looks like it can use those packs of squat lobster tails that are sometimes on offer
https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lobster_mac_n_cheese_90457
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Catherine » March 22nd, 2018, 9:03 pm

I too agree that a macaroni cheese should be kept simple, it is part of its appeal. I do however occasionally add some chopped bacon , chorizo, or ham if there is some that needs using up in the fridge. I'm not overly keen on it but my Nephews all love it served with salad and olives
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » March 22nd, 2018, 9:05 pm

Definitely bacon, occasionally spinach. Love the idea of a lobster version!
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby scullion » March 22nd, 2018, 10:38 pm

i don't think i've made macaroni cheese since the young went to uni and left home. it's not our comfort food of choice - maybe i should make some just to check our tastes haven't changed. i might be tempted to put fried onions in (along with the little bit of garlic i normally put in) but otherwise i'm not sure i'd want anything else in it. - i'm not really a pasta bake fan either - or pasta salad come to that.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby cyprusmoira » March 23rd, 2018, 6:23 am

I have frozen artichoke hearts and some pancetta, that BBC food site recipe looks good with a little adjustment.
I agree about pasta salad

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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Seatallan » March 23rd, 2018, 9:55 am

Ditto bacon (or pancetta). Sometimes mushrooms too. :chops:
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby suffolk » March 23rd, 2018, 10:05 am

earthmaiden wrote:I do adore plain macaroni cheese but like the sound of lobster .


The very small morsel I was allowed was absolutely wonderful :chops:
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 23rd, 2018, 10:20 am

As I was dropping off to sleep last night I remembered what my flatmate prepared for a new potential girlfriend ca 1978; it was his seduction supper :D
He got a fairly deep Pyrex dish, buttered it and sprinkled in some grated chedar. He then added a can of Heinz Macaroni Cheese, nestled a row of hard boiled along the centreand sprinkled more cheeses. Topped with a second can of macaroni cheese. Sprinkled with cheddar on top, decorated with tomato slices, then baked until bubbling and browned.

Not sure if this should be here or on a thread about cheats recipes
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby suffolk » March 23rd, 2018, 10:23 am

When DD was really poorly with glandular fever aged 13 the only thing she ate for what seemed like weeks was chopped-up tinned macaroni cheese ... poor lass, she felt sooooooooo awful :(
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Hope » March 23rd, 2018, 11:53 am

I normally add a combination of french beans, peas, broc and cauli. Mum used to make a cheesy pasta bake with leftover roast chicken or turkey and peas (i think they were tinned back then!)
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Ratatouille » March 23rd, 2018, 1:17 pm

I sometimes do more than one sort of cheese - depends what's in the fridge. I almost always add bacon and mushrooms and frequently discs of frankfurter type sausages or chirizo and I always put tomato wedegs around the outside - to leave room for the panko and cheese topping.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby earthmaiden » March 23rd, 2018, 2:17 pm

StokeySue wrote: it was his seduction supper :D

Did it do the trick? I don't like tinned macaroni cheese very much.
When ex OH set up home with new woman they had tinned macaroni cheese for supper every week after Thursday gym class. He apparently thought it was delicious. Particularly annoying as he would never touch home made macaroni cheese and we only had it when he went out :lol: :evil: .
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 23rd, 2018, 2:29 pm

I think the seduction supper had some success in as far as he was obviously trying to achieve pleasing and edible food although he couldn't really cook and that impressed in a roundabout way! His cooking did improve - he was a very practical person (could dismantle and reassemble a car) so he only needed a little motivation to crack basic cooking
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Herbidacious » March 23rd, 2018, 3:14 pm

I can only bear to eat it with some chilli in it. Otherwise it makes me feel sick. Herby breadcrumbs on top are nice too. .n.b. I do like it And want to eat it. I just react badly to it.

Pubs had a trend for adding truffle oil. A bit too rich for me.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 23rd, 2018, 8:01 pm

I haven't eaten macaroni cheese since school, then it was topped with sliced tomatoes and grilled until bubbly and golden. I like the idea of adding sliced mushrooms if I were to make and eat it again. :chops:
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby karadekoolaid » March 23rd, 2018, 8:57 pm

Mac n cheese with truffle oil is like drinking a 12 yr old Islay single malt with Coca-cola 8-) 8-)

Hahaha! But everyone to their own!
Bacon is good with mac´n´cheese. Or dried Spanish chorizo. Artichoke goes well. Smoked cheddar instead of "regular" cheese makes a huge difference.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby northleedsbhoy » March 24th, 2018, 6:08 am

I like it plain and simple. I use a strong red cheddar to make the sauce and add some small diced onion then shove it under the grill with some grated cheese on top to brown. I tried it once with breadcrumbs on top but didn't like the texture.

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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Zosherooney » March 24th, 2018, 7:11 am

My Mum used to add a can of tinned tomatoes - Lush !
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby suffolk » March 24th, 2018, 8:18 am

A mix of mature cheddar and gruyere and some cream for macaroni cheese here :chops:
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby cyprusmoira » March 24th, 2018, 10:00 am

I tried it with artichokes, frozen not preserved and pancetta, Excellent

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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 24th, 2018, 10:54 am

Made mine last night with red Leicester, touch of parmesan, lardons, fresh spinach, and one of those huge greenonions
Very nice
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Pepper Pig » March 24th, 2018, 4:11 pm

Anyone tried the Charlie Bigham’s one? OH is very partial. They have a cubed baconi and cheese and breadcrumbed top.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Catherine » March 24th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Anyone tried the Charlie Bigham’s one? OH is very partial. They have a cubed baconi and cheese and breadcrumbed top.


Yes, Waitrose had a couple in the reduced section at 49p each so I got them for the kids dinner. Went down well and as a ready meal, I would say as near to homemade as you will get
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Catherine » March 24th, 2018, 8:28 pm

Zosherooney wrote:My Mum used to add a can of tinned tomatoes - Lush !


We had tinned plum tomatoes as a side dish to macaroni cheese as prep school
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Ratatouille » March 25th, 2018, 10:06 am

I really hate tinned whole tomatoes. I use chopped ones in the winter of course, in stews and sauces. However the worst thing I think I have ever tasted is packet kraft Mac'n cheese. The GC's became addicted to it in America and it took us ages to wean them off it when they came back.
Last edited by Ratatouille on March 25th, 2018, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby earthmaiden » March 25th, 2018, 1:37 pm

I am quite fond of tinned tomatoes on toast.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby northleedsbhoy » March 25th, 2018, 1:51 pm

earthmaiden wrote:I am quite fond of tinned tomatoes on toast.


Or fried bread :hungry: :chops:

Cheers
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby earthmaiden » March 25th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Oh yes!!!!!! :chops: :chops: :chops: :hungry: :hungry:
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby suffolk » March 25th, 2018, 2:01 pm

northleedsbhoy wrote:
earthmaiden wrote:I am quite fond of tinned tomatoes on toast.


Or fried bread :hungry: :chops:

Cheers
NLB :tu:


I used to like them ... loved the way the juice soaked into the bread ............ gone right off that now .............. but what about halved grilled tomatoes with a sprinkling of Madras curry powder over them? :chops: (nothing to do with macaroni cheese of course) ;)
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Ratatouille » March 25th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Absolutely fine with grilled or baked fresh tomatoes, I like mine with a sprinkling of grated Parmesn or some herbs de Porvence - or both!
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Amber » March 25th, 2018, 8:13 pm

I always cook grilled/baked tomatoes with a tiny pinch of sugar. A tip I read many, many years ago.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby StokeySue » March 25th, 2018, 11:02 pm

If I have an open jar of pesto I spike my baked tomatoes with that
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Seatallan » March 26th, 2018, 11:38 am

Like Amber I include a pinch of sugar (usually brown). I also usually include balsamic vinegar and often dried thyme.
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Re: Pimping your Macaroni Cheese

Postby Kavey » April 19th, 2018, 5:57 am

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