HAZELNUT & MUSHROOMS MACARONI AND CHEESE

By Sam | 1 November, 2020

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Universally loved, Macaroni Cheese seems to be a fond favourite amongst many a household. Unsurprising really as it comprises two of the best food-groups – Pasta and Cheese. 

For me, macaroni cheese is something craveable particularly in the colder months when you want something piping-hot and comforting. We’ve opted for autumnal flavours in our own version, topping ours with a Hazelnut and Mushroom crust giving an extra dimension to the rich cheeses sauce. 

We tried loads of different versions of this dish but this recipe won out the clear favourite and proves a perfect plate whether as a main or side.

  • Author: Sam
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Ingredients

MAC & CHEESE

500g Macaroni, or similar tubular pasta

100g Mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

100g Gruyere Cheese, coarsely grated

100g Comte Cheese, coarsely grated

50g Unsalted Butter

40g Plain Flour,

1L Whole Milk 

2 tsp Dijon Mustard,

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper,

Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper

THE CRUST

25g Parmesan, coarsely grated

25g Gruyere Cheese, coarsely grated

250g Mushrooms, chestnut, porcini, shitake or a mix 

100g Hazelnuts, blanched

Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper

METHOD

THE HAZELNUT & MUSHROOM CRUST
  1. Place a large frying pan over a high heat and add a lug of olive oil to the pan. Finely dice the mushrooms and add them into the pan in a single, even layer. Cook the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until golden and fragrant. You may need to do this in batches. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

 

  1. Finely chop the hazelnuts to roughly the same size as the cooked mushrooms.

 

TIP – You can use a food processor to chop the hazelnuts, just make sure you do not over-pulse the nuts. 

 

  1. Mix the hazelnuts and mushrooms together and season with salt and pepper.

 

THE MAC & CHEESE
  1. Place a large pan over a medium-low heat and add the butter. Once the butter has fully melted, whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. 

 

  1. Gradually add the milk to the pan, whisking as you go to prevent any lumps until fully incorporated and beginning to thicken. Allow the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of double cream.

 

  1. Once thickened, add in the mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix. Add in the grated cheese and allow to melt. Whisk in the melted cheese until fully incorporated and smooth. Season to taste.

 

  1. Cook the pasta for five minutes leeds than it’s cooking instructions. Drain the pasta And add to th cheese sauce, mixing together until entirely coated.

 

ASSEMBLING THE MAC & CHEESE
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (FAN).

 

  1. Transfer the pasta into a large, oven-proof dish. Top the mac & cheese with the grated gruyere and parmesan and then evenly scatter the mushroom hazelnut crust over the top. 

 

  1. Tightly cover the dish with foil and then place in the oven for 15 minutes until the Macaroni is entirely cooked. Remove the foil from the dish and bake for a further 5 minutes keeping a close eye not to burn the nuts.

 

  1. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 
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Print

  • Author: Sam
Scale

Ingredients

MAC & CHEESE

500g Macaroni, or similar tubular pasta

100g Mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

100g Gruyere Cheese, coarsely grated

100g Comte Cheese, coarsely grated

50g Unsalted Butter

40g Plain Flour,

1L Whole Milk 

2 tsp Dijon Mustard,

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper,

Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper

THE CRUST

25g Parmesan, coarsely grated

25g Gruyere Cheese, coarsely grated

250g Mushrooms, chestnut, porcini, shitake or a mix 

100g Hazelnuts, blanched

Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper

METHOD

THE HAZELNUT & MUSHROOM CRUST
  1. Place a large frying pan over a high heat and add a lug of olive oil to the pan. Finely dice the mushrooms and add them into the pan in a single, even layer. Cook the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until golden and fragrant. You may need to do this in batches. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

 

  1. Finely chop the hazelnuts to roughly the same size as the cooked mushrooms.

 

TIP – You can use a food processor to chop the hazelnuts, just make sure you do not over-pulse the nuts. 

 

  1. Mix the hazelnuts and mushrooms together and season with salt and pepper.

 

THE MAC & CHEESE
  1. Place a large pan over a medium-low heat and add the butter. Once the butter has fully melted, whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. 

 

  1. Gradually add the milk to the pan, whisking as you go to prevent any lumps until fully incorporated and beginning to thicken. Allow the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the consistency of double cream.

 

  1. Once thickened, add in the mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix. Add in the grated cheese and allow to melt. Whisk in the melted cheese until fully incorporated and smooth. Season to taste.

 

  1. Cook the pasta for five minutes less than it’s cooking instructions. Drain the pasta 

 

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before you wish to start roasting it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 130ºC (FAN). 
  3. Slice the lemon in half and place into the cavity of the chicken along with the garlic cloves.  Smother the flavoured butter all over the chicken. Pierce the chicken with 3-4 metal skewers through the sides of the chicken.
  4. Place the potato wedges into a large, deep-sided roasting tray or dutch oven. Drizzle with olive oil and add the thyme leaves. Carefully lay the chicken over the pan, resting on the metal skewers, so that the chicken is suspended over the potatoes without touching them. 
  5. Place into the oven and roast for 2 ½ hours. Every half hour, turn the chicken over, this will help to replicate the rotation of the rotisserie. You may want to stir the potatoes occasionally as well.        
  6. Once the skin is a deep golden brown and crisp and the internal temperature has reached 75Cº in the thickest part of the breast, remove from the oven. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

TIP – Do not forgo the resting period! Resting your chicken allows the meat to relax and will ensure the chicken retains much of its moisture once you start carving. 

  1. Serve with the potatoes and a green salad.
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