Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mac and Cheese Sliders

Mac and Cheese isn’t really considered healthy, and well it is pretty much starch with starch with cheese, so not really helping out with the 5+ a day vegetable intake that is recommended. So why not gild the lily and coat patties of Mac & Cheese in some tasty potato starch (instant mash potato), fry the little cheese pasta goodness and slide it into a soft bun with some hot sauce and lettuce. Why not indeed, a total carb overload, bread, pasta, flour based sauce, not at all bad for you, well not your taste buds anyway.

Cook to the packets instructions, I prefer the small elbow to the large. Take care not to overcook. Strain and dump into a large bowl. I think I used about 300 grams of pasta.

Streaky bacon
Slice up into little lardons and place in a hot oven until the fat has started to render out and crisp up around the edges, don’t make it too crispy otherwise you’ll have little bacon bullets in your pasta. Tip the bacon, fat and all, on top of the strained pasta and stir through.

Cheese Sauce
750 ml milk (whole milk please)
Bay Leaf
Onion (peeled and quartered)

Place all of the ingredients in a pot and put over a low heat, allow it to gently simmer for ten minutes or so, be careful not to scald the milk. Strain into a jug for easy pouring.

Over a medium heat melt 3 tablespoons of butter and then stir in 3 heaped tablespoons of flour, stir until the flour has cooked through, make sure not to colour the roux too much. Pour in a portion of the milk and whisk until it has incorporated and begins to thicken, repeat until all of the milk is incorporated. Cook until thick, stirring often. If the white sauce is lumpy, don’t worry just keep stirring and cooking, the starch in the flour will eventually hydrate and the the sauce will become smooth.

Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in an egg, and two cups of cheese, I like to use a combination of strong flavourful cheese and good melting cheese.

Pour the cheese sauce into the bowl with the pasta and stir through making sure it is evenly coated, taste and season as needed.

Now you can spoon this into a baking dish, top with some crumbs and cook in a hot oven for about half an hour and you’ll have some tasty mac & cheese, or you could wait for it to cool and transfer it to some containers and place in the fridge. When the mix has set and is completely cold remove from the fridge and spoon into ring molds, pressing down with the back of a spoon to make little slider patties, carefully coat each patty in potato starch (instant potatoes).

Heat a good amount of oil in a heavy based frying pan and cook the patties until they are golden brown on each side, you could probably deep fry if you wish but I find shallow frying works perfectly well. Allow the patties to drain on some kitchen towels and serve in a slider bun with shredded iceberg lettuce and hot sauce.