Mac n Cheese
Hawaii is so so so expensive. Ridiculously so. Not only has the pound been getting a pounding (pun intended), the islands are in the middle of nowhere and have to import everything. We went ATV (all terrain vehicle) riding at a ranch in Kauai, where Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones were shot – super dirty and super fun! I digress. Anyway, we saw loads of cattle there. But Hawaii isn’t authorised to slaughter and distribute their cattle. Some random US law states that grass-fed cattle isn’t FDA approved. Cows must eat grain. So Hawaiians send their 1 year old calves off to the mainland only to import them back as importing grain is the less economical option. What’s wrong with grass fed cows?
Eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner is draining, tiresome and expensive if you don’t just stick to hot dogs, which I happily would have but logic told me elsewise. So we decided to go to the local grocery store and cook dinner ourselves. 2 bags of crisps, a diet coke, bread, 6 eggs, Kraft mac n cheese, 2 apples and a mango later our bill came upto $90. We then did the embarassing deed of putting things back on their shelves and just settled for the mac n cheese. What a mistake. I can’t imagine why I could have ever liked it, or if I ever did like the neon orange gooey mess.
The best ever mac n cheese recipe has got to be Guy Savoy’s easy-peasy overnight one. The day before you plan to have it, bring a massive pot of salted water to the boil. For 4 people you’re looking at 250g of macaroni. Cook for 4 minutes until very al dente and drain and cool under cold running water. In a mixing bowl, add 1.25 cups of milk, 2 cups of double cream and half a cup of grated gruyere cheese and mix well. Toss in the macaroni and mix well again. Season with salt + pepper and then leave in the fridge for 24 hours. The macaroni expands in the creamy goodness.
30 minutes before next day’s dinner pull the macaroni out of the fridge and let it come down to room temperature. Preheat oven to 205 degrees. Spread the macaroni in shallow baking dishes, not too thick a layer and sprinkle the top with some more grated gruyere. Bake for 15-20 mins and the top should get golden and crispy.
I like to have it with some simple steamed asparagus on the side.