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.

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My Mad Weekly Kitchen Diary

My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.

Sunday

… I had an online shop delivered last week so I’m limited with the Sunday roast if I want good value at the large supermarket. I also have the dilemma of changing things up. As usual the pork was on offer, but any other offers were frankly ridiculous, clearly targeted towards people with more money than sense! Whilst browsing I happened upon ‘top rump’ of beef. This apparently ‘premium’ cut was actually much cheaper than the brisket at only £5 per kilo. We’ve seen in the past that the top rump isn’t as it should be so I treated it as brisket and braised it on top of lots of veg and red wine and stock for a good few hours. I served it with new potatoes, wilted spring greens, Yorkshire, puds and a rich gravy made by bashing the long cooked veg (after removing the delicious very soft but uber tasty whole carrots which was a happy accident) then adding flour and stock. No pic, sorry!

Monday

… was a bank holiday (whoop!!) so I decided I wasn’t going to cook dinner. I made brunch of soft scrambled eggs with hard fried sliced bockwurst, and instead of toast; home baked special croissants. Special because before rolling I spread what would be the inside with a little marmite then added slices of tomato. It was a delicious brunch! For dinner we ordered mixed kebabs (lamb shish, chicken, and doner meat) with salad and pitta. Great for two reasons; no cooking for me, and leftover kebab meat to use in another meal.

Tuesday

I made a pilaff type thing with the leftover kebab meats from Monday. I sauteed onions, peppers, and chilli, before adding tomatoes, basmati rice and stock and the lamb (it was really tough!) and a little doner meat for flavour. The seasoning I used was a quick mix of peri peri salt and jerk seasoning. The absorption method for the rice mix worked well, but ten minutes in I added the rest of the chopped meats. I could eat this sort of meal every day!

Wednesday

… WedJ was a dinner guest and I was scratching around for meals as I only thought about the weekend when I did the online shop. I knew I could manage! I made macaroni cheese with bacon and served it (eventually… see following!) with garlic bread with tiger baton and leftover garlic butter from last week’s kiev. Imagine, you’ve planned around being incapacitated with terrible headaches by prepping a macaroni cheese the night before, your guest arrives and everything is under control. Mac and cheese is heating and crisping lightly in the oven along with a foil parcel of very garlic bread. The countdown is on; there are five minutes until I serve this hearty meal… and the doorbell rings. Another friend tips up (without ringing) stating he has 45 minutes to kill because his daughter is at a Lush birthday party! He didn’t want food, so I hurriedly emptied the oven, got him lemonade and pretended I wasn’t worried about dinner being ruined. As it turned out dinner was fine, if a little late, and I forgot a pic with the upheaval!

Thursday

… I was still scratching around so I attempted a play on a po’ boy sandwich. In the freezer we had breaded spicy prawns and a tiger baton (best bread ever by the way!) or two, and in the fridge sat salad ingredients and my volcanic chilli sauce. I crisped up the baton whilst oven baking the prawns and mixed a little mayo with my chilli sauce in lieu of the remoulade. We didn’t have any pickles so I used some jarred Peppadew peppers in their place, layering the sandwich with some sauce, prawns, peppers, seasoned lettuce and tomatoes, with a drizzle of sauce on top. As far as sandwiches for dinner go it was very good, but not authentic!

Friday

… look away NOW!!! … we-had-another-take-away… I was out of food and energy! So chip shop dinner it was. We both had chicken, I had rice and curry sauce; husband had chips.

Saturday

… leftovers! MY FAVOURITE! C had macaroni cheese, I had petit sale. Good job we shop on a Saturday night!

Kebab meat pilaff & a store cupboard po' boy!
Kebab meat pilaff & a store cupboard po’ boy!
My mad weekly kitchen diary