Vegetarian AlertCauliflower Cheese and Mac I had no idea what to make for today’s post. Scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and an auto-play video popped up on my screen. Jaimie Oliver was peering back at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and holding up the very ingredients I have in my fridge. I watched the video and marched straight to my kitchen, while still fresh in my mind, I whipped out his suggested ingredients and got cracking. I was taking a big risk here because Brian absolutely does not like Macaroni Cheese. One too many served to him as a boy growing up was enough for him to last his lifetime. He does however absolutely love cauliflower cheese. How ingenious of Jamie to combine the two. I had a relatively low expectation and boy oh boy was I wrong. Brian went back for not only seconds but thirds. Jamie blitzed his sauce, which is a really clever way to trick the kids into eating vegetables. I wanted texture so I kept mine as is.
Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese and Mac
- 250 g macaroni pasta
- 2 tbls butter
- 200 g baby leeks
- heart of celery about 10cm in length
- small cauliflower head
- 1 tsp hot english mustard
- 2 Tbls cornflour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 3 Tbls parsley finely chopped
- blue cheese optional
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- parmesan to serve
- These were the ingredients I was trying to use up. Don't forget to heat up the oven
- Get the macaroni pasta on the go put a knob of butter in the pan and finely slice the baby leeks
- When butter is sizzling add the leeks cook for 2 min
- Finely slice the heart of the celery about 10cm in length add to pan with leeks
- Break a small cauliflower head into florettes and add to the pan and stir for 1 min
- Add a tsp of hot English mustard - don't skip this step it's not hot in this quantity and it really adds great flavour. Stir to incorporate into leek mix
- Now sprinkle 2 Tbls of cornflower over leek mix. Mix properly
- The cornflour will stick to base of pan and coat the pan.
- Add 2 and a half cups of milk
- Add a good crack of pepper and salt stir and cook for 7 minutes
- Finely chop about 2 Tbls of parsley add to sauce
- By now the sauce has thickened. I had some garlic butter which I added to the pan
- Optional - slice a small wedge of blue cheese about 1cm at the widest part and add that to sauce. I didn't want to overpower the sauce. I could have added double that.
- See the sauce bubbling away getting nice and thick, now add cheese, about 1 heaped handful, saving half a handful for the grilling. If you don't want the kids to know about the leeks and cauliflower you can use a stick blender to get rid of the evidence and puree until smooth.
- Place the cooked macaroni in a casserole dish, tip the sauce over the macaroni and stir so the sauce can filter into all the nooks and crannies coating the pasta
- Now add the final half handful of grated white cheddar. I did a sneaky grating of fresh nutmeg over the cheese just for more flavour.
- Pop into preheated 180°C oven for 20-25 min. Turn the grill on to brown the top for about 2-3 min
- Serve with a salad. If you like you could also add left over mince of chicken to the dish.
- Grate parmesan
- Add a tsp of fresh chopped chilli, this finishes it off . Thank you Mr Oliver you are a lifesaver