Posh Nosh

Posh Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon, Brie and Broccoli


Welcome to my life of being a chef.

If you can tick off any the following, you have entered in to the fascinating world of the food lovers:Do you own an icecream machine/steamer/pasta machine/any food machinery gimicky thingie?
Do you backtrack in the food isles and stare longingly at items like: "Marula and sultana confit"?
Do you not buy ready meals stating, "I can do better than that"?
Do you struggle with the "make or buy" decision? Make bread vs buy bread.
And lastly, do you have things like prawns, puff pastry, Ostrich fillet, homemade stock in your freezer, yet hardly ever have bread, milk, cheese and tomato sauce?

Well, then your are a foodie, a gourmand, a tastebud junkie, a lover of food.

My friends always ask me about how do I know what ingredients go with what?
I think the best way is to learn, and also to remember the taste profile of each ingredient. Most things come with trial and error, and surprisingly a large percentage of the finished products we have today have come about by pure mistake.

Take puff pastry for example;
In 1645 A french pastry chefs apprentice was making a lean dough bread, and remembered at the last minute that he had forgotten to add butter to the pastry.
He then rolled the butter into the pastry. Unbeknowst to him, this was creating multiple layers of butter, and pastry. when it cooked, the water in the butter evaporated, thereby raising the pastry, and the dough cooked and set and held its frame. The result was mille feuille- a thousand layers, of pastry.

Dont be frustrated with yourself if it doesn't work out, just try it again, and learn to tweak. Recipes arent rigid, they are guidelines. The only place to follow the rules in in baking, because this relies heavily on raising agents and chemical reactions.

I have a friend who experiments, and the dishes don't always work out, but I know that one day she will astound us all and walk off with a grand prize for some sort of Michelin starred something or other, and all because she wasn't scared to try.
And lastly, don't be like me and lord it over your friends with your superior taste buds, and luxurious eating methods. I have been known to take over half an hour in choosing my lunch from a menu, because I sit and mentally taste everything, and drive everyone insane.

I made this last night for dinner. It was one of those, what can I throw in the pot nights, usually occuring on days starting with 27, 28, 29 and 30.
I was lucky to have ingredients that liked each other, normally there is a bottle of vinegar, fighting with the chilli sauce, who is haggling with the tapenade for space, and a lonely tomato sitting quietly in the corner.


Posh Mac and Cheese 
300 g (dried) Twirly style pasta of your choice
Half a head of broccoli
50 g of Feta (any flavour), crumbled
100 g Dalewoods Blue and Brie cheese
half an onion, sliced in large chunks
150 g Bacon (I use Back bacon)
30 g butter
30 g Cake (plain) flour
300-500 ml full cream milk

Preheat oven to 200◦C

Boil the pasta until cooked (If you want it el dente like the Italians then follow the instructions on the packet, but cook for 1 minute less).
When the pasta is 3 minutes away from cooked, add the broccoli florets. 
After 3 minutes drain the pasta and broccoli together.

In a baking dish, mix pasta, broccoli, crumbled feta
and Blue brie.
In a pan, fry the onions and bacon until crispy, and add to the pasta.
Melt the butter in a pot, and add the flour. Add in 300ml of heated milk and whisk. When sauce begins to thicken, add more milk to create a medium thick sauce,.
Add to the pasta.
Season to your taste, and place in the oven, and cook until crispy
(or until oozy, your choice, I like mine crispy).

Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. definitely Posh ! love the taste combinations !

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  2. Thanks Gaby! it made for a scrumptious lunch at work. It had all my colleagues drooling!

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  3. I am so NOT a "food lover" but I've been making my own bread lately. It doesn't really rise properly (it more closely resembles an anti-tank projectile than a loaf you can eat) but in at least one sense that's a good thing: I can actually smear butter on it without destroying the slice of bread underneath!

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  4. Bernd, Bernd Bernd...lol.The secret to breadmaking is that it needs to be "proved" twice. Yeast is alive and can be killed with too much heat, too much salt and too much sugar.
    What flour are you using? Because some flours have a low gluten percentage, like rye, and have to be combined with wheat flour to rise... Are you leaving it to rise twice!

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