Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 180C fan forced. Place a large saucepan of salted water over high heat and bring to the boil.
- Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than instructed on the packet, adding the cauliflower for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain then set aside in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour for 1 minute or until the mixture bubbles. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Return to medium heat and simmer, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the cheese until it melts then season.
- Stir in the béchamel sauce through the pasta and cauliflower. Add half of the pickled jalepenos and stir through.
- Spoon the mixture into one large baking dish or six individual dishes.
- Combine the bread chunks, parmesan and parsley leaves in a food processor and blitz until broken down into small chunks, careful not to over process. Sprinkle the herb-bread mixture over the macaroni. Sprinkle the remaining jalapenos over the top.
- Bake until the top is golden and crisp, about 30 minutes.
Smoky Corn Macaroni
- Preheat oven to 200C. Butter a large baking dish or several individual dishes.
- Bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 2 minutes less time than the packet instructions. The pasta should still be a little hard, as it will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the macaroni and set aside.
- Heat a frypan over medium heat then add the oil. Add the red onion and celery and sauté until just translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside in a small bowl. Reserve the frypan on the heat.
- Add bacon to the frypan and cook until well coloured. Add the smoked paprika and brown sugar and fry for a further minute. Pour the bacon into a bowl and reserve the frypan on the heat.
- Add the corn to the reserved frypan, increase heat to high, and cook for about 1 minute until slightly coloured. Remove corn from the heat and add to the bowl of bacon.
- Heat 80g of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes to cook out the flour and let the butter brown slightly. Once the roux starts to thicken, add the milk, a little at a time, stirring to incorporate.
- Add almost all of the tasty cheese, reserving a little for the top. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until smooth.
- Stir the celery and onion into the cheese sauce. Stir in ¾ of the bacon and corn mix, and then gently stir the drained macaroni through the sauce. Reserve the remaining bacon and corn for the topping. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour into the greased baking dish/ dishes. Sprinkle the reserved bacon and corn mixture on top. Finish with a sprinkle of the parmesan and breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the oven until golden and crispy.