My Mad Weekly Kitchen Diary

Okay… I’m not the biggest fan of macaroni cheese, because I’m not that keen on pasta, but occasionally I bite the bullet and make it because it fits with that week’s menu. I like to balance my week’s food as far as possible so that will include some sort of pasta.

Anyway… This was one of those days, and this day I also happened to be craving a dish my foster mum used to make which was white fish in cheese sauce, with potatoes and peas. This day, I had to use pasta though (booooo!), so I pushed my craving down and tried to come up with a pasta dish. The thought of fish and cheese sauce constantly tried to reach the surface, and ultimately gave me the idea of ‘Seafood macaroni cheese’!

I had basa fillets in the freezer along with prawns. I also had mussel meat in said freezer but didn’t think mussel meat would look very pretty.

I tend not to follow a recipe when I make a roux, I just use equal parts of butter or some such* and plain flour, then add my milk a little at a time until the sauce is the consistency I want. But as a guide, 1 heaped dessert spoon of flour/butter makes about 500ml (a pint ish) of sauce.

In this instance though, I poached the basa in milk, then used that milk to make the sauce before adding grated mature cheddar until the sauce was very cheesy. When the sauce was complete I added the defrosted cooked, peeled prawns and warmed them through before adding the basa and cooked macaroni. Once I’d piled it all into a baking dish I sprinkled panko breadcrumbs mixed with a little parmesan over the top and shoved it under the grill to brown. I didn’t want the seafood to overcook by baking.

The resulting Seafood mac and cheese was delicious, and it definitely upped my enjoyment rate!

Seafood macaroni cheese
Seafood macaroni cheese

*Sometimes I use sunflower oil instead of butter because I’m melting it anyway.

My Mad Weekly Kitchen Diary

My tex-mex layer bake

This is not an exact recipe, I don’t do exact unless I’m baking. Everything else is a glug of this, a squish of that, and a pinch of the other.

I normally do a family lasagne dish sized bake, so you might use a kilo of ground beef to make your chilli.

Tex-mex layer bake
Tex-mex layer bake

You need;

  • Your favourite chilli con carne*
  • Around 8 soft flour tortillas
  • About a pint of cheese sauce or 2 small/1 large tin(s) Campbells Condensed Mushroom soup
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro)

You need to;

Get your lasagne dish & lightly oil it by wiping round some oil with kitchen roll.

Place tortillas on the bottom to form a layer, cut off excess & keep for later.

Ladle on some chilli, enough to make a decent layer.

Add another layer of tortilla, again trimming excess.

Spread a layer of sauce or mushroom soup (straight out of tin) over the tortilla.

Layer chilli.

Layer tortillas.

Spread sauce/soup.

At this point your dish might be full, if not eek out another layer, ending with sauce/soup.

Get all of the tortilla trimmings, and whiz in a food processor along with some cheddar cheese and fresh coriander to taste. It shouldn’t be too fine, chunky is good.

Sprinkle this all over the top of the bake, a good sprinkle, and then pop in the oven at 180 degrees until brown & bubbling, about 40 minutes.

You might think the soup is strange, but it works at a pinch! Also cheese sauce with a fresh chilli or two is very good.
Let me know if you try it!

*If you’re using leftover chilli (so it’s chilled, cool the sauce first if using before assembly)

My tex-mex layer bake