Meaty Mac’n’Cheese with Cathedral City

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Cheese. Cheese. CHEEEEEESE!!!!! Do you know what? I think I should have been born a mouse!  I want you to go on a little journey with me. C’mon, it’s easy, just close your eyes… think of a whole block little bite of mature cheddar cheese from the West Country. Think of closing your mouth as your teeth sink into the cold, delicious, taste bud tingling creaminess…..  Oh! Sorry! I lost myself for a moment there! HAHA!  Back to being serious, because that’s what I am (honest!)

Did you know that over 20% of the country eat cheese at least once every 4 days? 55% of us choose the cheeseboard over dessert (I’d have both, if I’m honest, whilst over 65% of the national always have cheese in their fridges?  No wonder it’s the Nation’s favourite ingredient!

So, what better way when the British summer is just beginning and it’s still cold and rainy outside like the deepest, darkest depths of winter, than to make a hearty meal to serve at the dinner table for all to tuck into, because almost two thirds of us prefer to enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends, and what better ingredient to use than Cathedral City mature cheddar cheese?  I know of not one reason why!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 100g Pancetta, cubed
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cubed
  • 200g Macaroni
  • 10ml Plain flour
  • 5ml Dijon mustard
  • 50ml Chicken Stock
  • 300ml Creme Fraiche
  • 200g Cathedral City Mature Cheddar cheese
  • Ground black pepper

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Heat the oven to 200℃.
  • In a large pan, gently heat the oil.
  • Add the pancetta and the cubed chicken breasts and cook for 5-10 minutes until starting to colour.
  • Whilst you’re browning the meat, bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  • Add the macaroni to the pan of boiling water, stir, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour fairly evenly all over the browned pancetta and chicken and stir to coat thoroughly.
  • Add the mustard and the chicken stock and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
  • Add the creme fraiche and heat through, but do not boil.
  • Grate the cheese (sneak yourself a bite – go on; you’re working hard and you deserve it!  You must also eat that last little, annoying, bit of cheese that you can’t grate if you value your nails and fingertips.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Stir through 150g of the grated cheese until melted.
  • Drain the macaroni and stir this through the pan of pancetta, chicken and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Season with pepper to taste.
  • Have another taste, just to make sure that the grating didn’t interfere with the delicious taste of the cheese! Sprinkle (what’s left) of the cheese over the mac’n’cheese.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden, crispy and bubbling beautifully.

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

  • Share with the family if you really must, but make sure they leave you some for a indulgent, tasty snack later!

Cathedral City Meaty Mac'n'Cheese

Most importantly, you must always remember the rules of cooking with cheese;

  • Taste a bit as soon as you open the packet.
  • Taste a bit more as you prepare it at every stage of the recipe… just in case!
  • Only share the finished dish, if you really must.
  • Find Cathedral City on Facebook and find out what kind of cheese lover you are.

So, now I’ve shared my #CheeseRules with you because I truly to #LoveCheese tell me what are yours?  C’mon, enjoy cheese and ‘Welcome to the Club’

The recipe was adjusted to feature and include Cathedral City Mature Cheddar Cheese. I received a voucher to purchase ingredients for this recipe.

National Sandwich Week with the Central Co-Operative

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Having previously managed the payroll for a very large food manufacture of about 100,000 sandwiches a day many years ago, the invitation from the Central England Co-Operative to create a great sandwich combination using tasty ingredients that could be found in your local store to celebrate National Sandwich week was was right up my street!

As the weather has been very changeable recently, including snow, hailstones, ice, wind and sunshine (and all in one day too!) I decided on a combination of a hot, toasted, sandwich and a lovely salad to go with it. I bought a variety of ingredients including a pack of sandwich thins, Mozzarella cheese, tomato pesto, mixed salad leaves, beautifully sweet Piccolo tomatoes, sweet baby peppers and some delicious mixed root vegetable crips to make my lunch.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
After preparing a really quick salad using the leaves, peppers and tomatoes, I simply tipped some of the root vegetable crisps into a small bowl and set about preparing my toasted sandwich.

Drain the Mozzarella and slice about 5mm thick.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
The Sandwich Thins are pre-sliced so it’s very quick and simple to separate the two halves.  Place a couple of generous teaspoons of the tomato pesto on one side of the bread.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Spread the pesto over the bread into a relatively even layer.  Repeat with the other sandwiches as required.  I made two for lunch today; one each for my husband and myself.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Tear the mozzarella slices into strips and cover the pesto.  I’ve left a small gap around the edges to stop the cheese oozing out (and being wasted) on to my sandwich press. Top with the other half of the Sandwich thin.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Preheat your sandwich maker (I have an Antony Worrall Thompson for Breville flat sandwich press that I’ve had for many years).

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Place your sandwich onto the sandwich maker and close the lid.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Toast for a few minutes until the top is nicely browned and the mozzarella has started to melt.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Slice diagonally using a sharp knife.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Serve with a helping of salad and some of the root vegetable crisps.

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative
Tasty (the sandwich that is!)

British Sandwich Week 2016 with the Central England Co-Operative

I was sent a voucher from the Central England Co-Operative to buy my ingredients to participate in the creation for National Sandwich Week.

Pannini with mozzarella & pesto

Pannini with mozzarella & pesto
Another quick lunch recipe from me today:  Pannini with Sun-dried tomato pesto, tomato and Mozzarella.  Quick, easy and oh, so tasty!
 
Simply take:
 
1 pannini per person and slice horizontally
Spread generously with some Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (my fave is by Sacla)
Top with slices of fresh tomato
Add a couple of slices of Mozzarella cheese
 
 
 

I make mine in my sandwich press (one with flat plates) for a few minutes until golden and the cheese has melted.

You’ll find that the mozzarella cheese goes a little bit chewy, so be careful when you bite into it.

Enjoy!  x