Lately I have been obsessed with trying to make the most perfect, cheesiest macaroni and cheese. But not only that – one that is healthier and not calorific as the rest, which trust me is a challenge!
Plus, I do tend to find macaroni and cheese a bit on the boring side. Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a classic comfort food dish, but there is only so much I can eat before I get a bit bored of the taste. So I have decided to change things up a bit! I have added lovely cauliflower, because let’s face it – cauliflower and cheese is a just genius and a never gets old! And to this I have added some very tasty flaked smoked haddock, as well as fresh dill and parsley, to brighten things up a bit.
By all means you can experiment with the cheese you use, I tend to combine a mild cheese (so a mild cheddar) with something a bit stronger (parmesan, in this case). But by all means I have used Gruyere, Pecorino, Cheshire cheese…the options are endless!
Now aside from flavour, the other great thing this recipe has going for it is the sauce. In most macaroni and cheese dishes you need to make some kind of a Bechamel/white sauce, which can be a bit of a faff. In my case, I have skipped this step and made a simple cream sauce with a bit of half fat crème fraiche and 0% fat Greek yoghurt…what can you not do with Greek yoghurt when it comes to cooking/baking?! I love this stuff…and it’s not because I am the slightest bit biased…
So on with the recipe, hope you enjoy!
500 grams smoked haddock
1 pint skimmed milk
400 grams dried macaroni
½ large cauliflower head, cut into florets
150 grams half fat crème fraiche
150 grams 0% fat Greek yoghurt
½ bundle flat leaf parsley
½ bundle fresh dill
250 grams low fat cheddar cheese, grated
100 grams parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly Ground Pepper
In a heatproof bowl, add the parmesan, cheddar cheese, crème fraiche & Greek yoghurt.
In the meantime, pour the milk into a saucepan, bring this to a simmer and add the haddock. Cook this for 10 minutes, until the haddock easily falls part & is thoroughly cooked. Remove the haddock from the saucepan and milk, remove the skin and flake into a medium bowl (make sure to remove any bones).
In a large pot, bring water to the boil, add the dried macaroni & cook for 5 minutes. While the macaroni is boiling, place the heatproof bowl on top of the pot and stir the cheese mixture until nice & creamy. Finish the cheese sauce with the parsley & dill, and plenty of ground pepper. Set the bowl aside.
Add the cauliflower florets to the macaroni, and cook this together for a further 5 minutes – until the cauliflower is tender & macaroni cooked.
Strain the macaroni and cauliflower, and reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the boiled water.