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.

Beef Cobbler

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I’m sharing a tasty meal for you to enjoy. It’s relatively quick and easy to make, so perfect for a midweek meal, and will feed a family when combined with fresh vegetables.

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10ml vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

500g minced beef

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 beef stock cube

1 Knorr herb flavour pot

15ml Bisto gravy powder

175g self raising flour

15ml cornflour

175g self raising flour

0.25ml Colemans mustard powder

Pinch salt

25g butter, cubed

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

50g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs, beaten

Oven temperature: 200°C

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil gently and add the onion. Cook until starting to soften, but not brown.

2. Add the minced beef and cook until browned.

3. Add the chopped carrot and stir through.

4. Dissolve the stock cube in 100ml boiling water and add to the saucepan along with the Knorr flavour pot.

5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the carrots are softened.

6. To make the cobbler (scone) topping, in a large bowl place the flour and mustard powder and stir together to combine.

7. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

8. Stir in the cheeses.

9. Beat the eggs and add approx 2/3 of these to the flour and butter mixture. Combine with a fork until it starts to bind together, then knead gently until it forms a ball, adding more egg as required.

10. Turn the cobbler mix out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to a thickness of about 1cm.

11. Using a 5cm circular cutter, cut out as many rounds as you able to get from the mixture, re-forming and rolling as required.  Set aside briefly whilst you thicken the minced beef.

12. Mix the Bisto and cornflour together and add cold water to mix to a runny paste, the consistency of single cream.

13. Increase the heat under the mince and return to the boil.

14. Add the Bisto and cornflour mixture and stir constantly until thickened. It is essential that you continue to stir this whilst it thickens or you will get a lumpy gravy!

15. Season to taste.

16. Transfer the mince to a heatproof dish and top with the cobbler rounds, overlapping as required.

17. Brush the top of the cobblers with the remaining beaten egg and transfer the dish to the oven.

18. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cobblers are browned.

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19. Serve with plenty of freshly steamed vegetables.

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Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

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I’ve previously reviewed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book that I bought for my husband.  There are several recipes in there that have become firm family favourites and that my husband often cooks for us; this recipe being one of them as it’s quick, tasty and very easy to prepare. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to a meal – coming from the Allium family which includes the onion and garlic, their flavour is much more subtle and delicate.

This recipe is based on Jamie’s from his book.

2 Large leeks
4 Chicken breasts
2tbs Olive oil
20g Butter
250ml White wine (if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
100ml Water
15ml Wholegrain mustard
300g Basmati Rice
Bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley
300ml Single cream
1/2 Lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Wash your leeks then cut them lengthways into quarters, from top to bottom, then slice across the stems (whites and greens) into 1cm thicknesses.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, approx. 1cm x 2cm .
4. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.
5. Add the leeks, wine, water, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Stir together then bring to the boil and cover loosely with a lid or foil.
7. Put your rice in your boiling water, stir once and return to the boil.  Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes (according to packet instructions).
8. Chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, finely.
9. Add the chicken, parsley and the cream to the frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

10. Drain the cooked rice.
11. Add the juice of your lemon half to the stroganoff and stir just before serving.
12. Place a pile of rice on your plate and add a generous couple of spoons of the stroganoff.

Serve with a perfectly chilled glass of the white wine that you used to cook this dish with.

Curry paste – the homemade version

In 1989, just after we got married, I bought a book on Curries by Pat Chapman from Sainsbury’s.  Despite now owning several other curry recipe books, it’s still our ‘go to’ book for all things spicy!  We’ve been blending the spices into curry powder and cooking it out in to a curry paste ever since then.  It’s been tried and tested by many a guest to our house over the years, and as I used almost the last of my current batch making my chicken curry for dinner last night, I had to make some more today.  The benefit of making it today in the warm, dry weather, meant that I could cook it outdoors on my Cadac barbeque in the paella pan; sharing the amazing aroma with my neighbours and leaving my house smelling fragrant and not spicy for the next few days!

It’s incredibly simple to do, so here it is in it’s entirety.  All teaspoon measurements are ROUNDED.
 
12tsp Ground Coriander
6tsp Ground Cumin
5tsp Gram flour
5tsp Garlic powder
4tsp Fenugreek seeds
4tsp Paprika*
4tsp Turmeric
4tsp Garam Masala
1tsp Asafoetida
1tsp Ground Ginger
1tsp Chilli powder*
1tsp Mustard powder*
1tsp White ground Pepper
250ml Cider vinegar
250ml Vegetable oil

1. Measure all your ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Pour in your cider vinegar and enough cold water to make a paste that ‘dollops’ off the spoon without being too runny.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (I used my paella pan on my Cadac).
 
4. Add the curry paste (be careful as it’ll spit initially due to the water content).
 
5. Cook for about 15 minutes until the water has evaporated.  You’ll know it’s cooked as when you leave it for a short while, the oil will rise to the surface of the paste.
6. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then decant into sterilised jars.
 
7. Heat a little more oil and pour over the top of the curry paste to prevent air getting to it.
 
8. Seal the jars and store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks before using.
The recipe above is for a mild curry paste, however if you increase the quantities of Paprika, Chiili and Mustard you can increase the heat to your own preference. Similarly, if you don’t have all the ingredients listed above, it’s fine to leave one or two of the smaller quantities out.
This goes perfectly in my Chicken Curry Recipe.
 
The curry paste recipe is NOT originally my own, but it’s one we’ve been using for 25 years now. Thanks to Pat Chapman and to Sainsbury’s for a fabulous book – you should re-publish this!