Macaroni Cheese is something I always used to eat as a kid but it never sounds as exotic as the American version Mac and Cheese. Even Madhouse Daddy raves about the Kraft Mac and Cheese from a packet that he used to eat in the States when he was an au pair, so I decided to adapt a recipe I'd seen for American-style Mac & Cheese and add bacon and spinach.
Mac & Cheese with Spinach & Bacon
1tbsp mustard powder
3 cups (720ml) milk
2 onions (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup (150g) dried breadcrumbs
200g bacon lardons, cooked
150g spinach (fresh or frozen)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until just cooked. Drain and reserve.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the mustard and flour and mix until well blended and lump-free. Add the milk, onions, spinach, paprika and bay leaf. Cook on a low heat (just simmering) for 10 minutes, whisking until smooth. Take off the heat and remove the bay leaf.
Mix in 3/4 of the cheddar and the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the macaroni and mix well. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar.
In a frying pan, toast the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the dish.
Put in the oven for 30 minutes and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
You can add any extra ingredients you want to jazz things up : ham, chicken breast, chorizo or leftover cooked vegetables. The bacon and spinach combination worked really well though and the addition of crunchy breadcrumbs was a nice touch.
I'm joining in with the World Cup recipe challenge over on the Cooking Around The World blog
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