Over the course of the day, I’m always thinking of what I’m cooking for dinner. Sometimes there’s a lot of effort involved so I need to set a plan of attack. Sometimes it’s something that’s much easier, so I find ways to play with a basic idea to make it something new.
On occasion, I play with the flavours in Mac N Cheese. I always joke with people that I can make Mac N Cheese from scratch in the same amount of time it takes to boil water and cook the macaroni for the cheap boxed equivalent. A basic Mac N Cheese is nice every once in awhile, but tonight I thought of how some people like to have a slice of cheddar on their apple pie. I flipped that idea to include apple flavours in a Mac N Cheese.
Apple Mac N Cheese with Honey-Chilli Roasted Apple with Mint
For the Apple Mac N Cheese:
450g/1lb dry macaroni or small shell pasta
1/3 cup Greens Eggs N Ham duck fat (or butter)
1/2 cup Gold Forest Grains soft white flour
2-1/2 cups 1% milk
3/4 cup August Organics apple jelly (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 Tbsp hot Hungarian paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
100g(1/4 lb) Sylvan Star Cheese grizzly gouda, shredded
100g(1/4 lb) Sylvan Star Cheese herb & garlic gouda, shredded
100g(1/4 lb) Sylvan Star Cheese 8 year old cheddar, shredded
Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the back burner. Season the water with a tablespoon of salt and add the dry pasta. Reduce heat to medium. Stir occasionally as you prepare the sauce. Test for doneness after about 8-10 minutes, depending on the variety of pasta you use. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the duck fat over medium heat to melt. Sift the flour, use only the sifted flour (save bran for another use) and whisk into the melted duck fat. Gradually whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, until a medium thick sauce is achieved. Whisk in apple jelly, paprika and salt. Remove from heat. Add pepper and the shredded cheese. Whisk slowly to melt the cheese in. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the Honey-Chilli Roasted Apple with Mint.
For the Honey-Chilli Roasted Apple with Mint:
1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
1 medium apple, cored, sliced into 4cm(2″) x 2cm(1″) pieces.
2 green onions, chopped
1 Doef’s Greenhouses red chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp Coal Lake Honey Farms mixed honey
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Morinville Greenhouses fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, sauté the white parts of the green onions with the chilli until just softened (about 2-3 minutes). Add the apple and sauté for another few minutes to start to soften the apple, but still maintain some of its firmness. Add the honey and black pepper and pan-roast for another 2 or 3 minutes until the apples are just starting to go golden. Remove from heat, add the green part of the green onions and fresh mint leaves.
Stir together the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta. Serve in bowls topped with some of the Honey-Chilli Roasted Apples with Mint. Serves 4-6.