I am sure that many people who follow a gluten free diet will be able to relate to my next post.
Being told later on in life that you can no longer eat wheat came as a bit of a shock and it meant that I had to learn what I could and could not eat. I did much of this of my own as, as I am sure many others have done. Shopping became a chore as I spent twice as long walking the aisles reading packets and labels. It was a nightmare and my passion for food, cooking and baking was subsiding by the minute.
With time and experience I soon found my passion and love for food and now I am happy to experiment with existing recipes and adapt them so that they are suitable for a gluten free diet.
A couple of weeks ago I visited the Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia and one of my main reasons for visiting was to see what ingredients are out there that I did not know about and get some inspiration.
The one thing that made me smile the most was the all the different ranges of pasta that are out there and it is such a shame that they don’t appear on our supermarket shelves. I was delighted to see some gluten free macaroni and I knew then that it was going to be my next recipe on the blog. The pasta is made by dialsi and I was really happy with the consistency and the texture of the pasta once it was cooked. In the past I have found that some gluten free pasta only has to be over cooked by a matter of second before it breaks up into nothing.
After digging through my recipe folders I found a simple recipe for macaroni and cheese and after making a few tweaks I was happy with the end product.
What makes this recipe slightly more special is that after being contacted by the Lincolnshire Co-op I had some local cheese to mix in with my ordinary cheddar.
The cheese made by Cote Hill is a semi-hard cheese and is produced in Lincolnshire. I had a little nibble before grating it into the rest of the cheese, but it was pleasantly surprised. It has a very mild taste and is ever so slightly creamy. Being a semi-hard cheese I thought it was going to be much stronger, but it was a perfect cheese for cooking with and if you did not want to cook with it, it would go will with crackers and chutney.
Enough of my ramblings you can have ago at making your very own macaroni and cheese and if you don’t have macaroni this would work just as well with any type of gluten-free pasta.
This recipe serves 4 people
400g dried macaroni pasta
300g grated cheddar cheese
100g grated Cotes Hill or any semi-hard cheese that you like
25g gluten free plain flour
600ml milk (full fat will give a lovely creamy finish, but whatever milk you have or prefer)
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat an oven to 200 oC or gas mark 5
1. You will need to partially cook the pasta before baking it in the oven. In a sauce pan bring the water up to the boil, salt well and cook the pasta until it is just tender. Drain the water and put to aside.
2. In another sauce pan you will need to make a roux for a white sauce. Melt the butter and then add the gluten free flour and keep stirring while cooking the flour for a minute. Keep the mixture loose to avoid lumps, but if it does go lumpy get a whisk and use that as you mix in the milk. Once you have cooked the flour for a minute you will need to add the milk a little at a time. Keep the heat very low on the hob and continually whisk or stir the mix to prevent it from going lumpy. You will feel the sauce thicken and then loosen when you are adding the milk.
3. Once you have added all the milk, turn the heat up and little and bring to the boil. The mixture will thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste. Take the sauce off the heat and add in 200g of the cheddar cheese and 50g of the semi-hard cheese. Don’t add it all in at once, but just in stages and mix well.
4. Once all the cheese has been mixed into the white sauce pour the sauce over the pasta and mix together. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place in the center of a pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the macaroni from the oven and the top should be golden and the sauce bubbling at the sides.
Happy gluten free cooking 🙂