Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Chili Macaroni Cheese

All Images © Katie Quinn Davies

Well, I still don’t have my regular camera back and I am all but a fine line away from totally losing my cool with the camera-fixer-man who never calls me to tell me how progress is coming along… So to distract me from calling him and hurling obscenities down the line and seeing as I had the day off today after a hectic past few days work-wise, I decided to make some Macaroni Cheese for dinner of which I took some photos with my spare camera. I read a recent Gourmet Traveller similar recipe the other day so it must have been lingering quietly at the back of my mind…

We had a dinner party last Saturday here at the house for 12 people, it was a really good night ending at 5.30am after much, much, MUCH good Aussie red wine *ouch* and some hugely embarrassing dance moves at around the 3am mark *cringe* …

As part of Saturday’s cheese platter, I added one variety which my new friend; Andy – aka The Gourmet Grocer, now sells in the deli in Balmain. It’s a cheddar style flavored with chili. It’s really quite something, and gives a noticeable, yet subtle-ish kick. Sliced finely it adds a nice variety to the usual standard cheese options. I thought it might be interesting to add the leftovers into the Macaroni Cheese to add a bit of variety. I also added in the lump of Pecorino and Vintage Tasmanian Cheddar which were leftover. There really is nothing better in the comfort food department than a good MC. I find it impossible not to pick off all the chewy top bits of cheese which get caramelised at the end from being under the grill. The cheese combinations worked well and added just a little bit more flavour intensity than using straight cheddar.

The ingredients I used are:

1 1/4 cups macaroni pasta

1 1/2 cups milk

20g butter

1/4 cup cream

1.5 cups cheddar cheese (I like to use a good, bitey vintage cheddar)

1/2 cup Pecorino cheese

1/4 cup chili cheese

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Olive Oil


Preheat your oven to 250˚C (480˚F)

1. Cook the macaroni pasta as per the packet instructions. I prefer to slightly undercook it by one or two minutes as I feel once fully baked, the texture is nicer. Drain and toss in a tablespoon or two of olive oil and keep warm.

2. In a saucepan, gently warm the milk, cream and butter and bring to a slow simmer, seasoning well with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

3. In a bowl, mix all cheese varieties together, then add half into the milk and butter mixture, combine well and add into the cooked pasta, making sure the pasta is well coated.

4. Grease the inside of a baking dish with butter and into which add the coated pasta, then pour in the remaining milky cheese mixture.

5. Sprinkle the top of the dish with the remaining cheese.

6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until browned and bubbling. I like to add a further handful of grated cheddar cheese and place under the grill for 5 minutes until crispy.

Tomorrow… Last Saturday’s hand’s down course winner – aka dessert; Julia Child’s ‘Perfect Chocolate Mousse’.

14 Responses to “Chili Macaroni Cheese”

  1. June 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Until I read this, I had no idea that I’d been waiting for this recipe all my life! Thanks!

  2. June 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Your photography is great I love your rustic approach you take on your pictures.


    The Food Addicts

  3. Anonymous
    June 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I really want to make this, but what is chili cheese?

  4. June 26, 2010 at 3:13 am

    The chili cheese I used is called ‘Firecracker’, I am not sure how readily available it is overseas, but a simple substitution would be just using regular cheddar and adding some chili flakes into the mix.

  5. Anonymous
    June 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I found some “hot pepper” cheese with jalapeños, here in Southern California. Delicious! Thank you!

  6. June 29, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Trying it out tomorrow with some Spicy Pepper Cheddar.

  7. June 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    need this in my belly right now.

  8. April 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Wow….may I just say I maight have found my new fave foodie blog…this looks amazing, and your photography is great, stand by camera or not. :)
    I am now hooked, and will be back. I am following you via GFC so I can see what else you come up with…now the only job I have left is to convert measurements into the Texan language. ;)

  9. April 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Ooh, this looks yummy. I can’t wait to try it. But what is chili cheese?

  10. April 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    decadent, yummy. What a gorgeous blog! Found you on Pioneer Woman.

  11. July 23, 2011 at 7:21 am

    For how many persons is tuis recipe?

  12. Anonymous
    August 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Here what i found -> vision correction

  13. December 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    What goes well with this dish? I need something light like a salad or any veggie side dish as I am also making a dessert in the heavier end…

  14. May 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    This looks absolutely delish – spicy mac & cheese! Love your food photograhy!

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