Macaroni & Cheese with brussels sprouts and bacon
This is a great way to use up left-over roasted Brussels sprouts. Combine them with bacon in a creamy sauce and bake with macaroni until crisp and golden.
Today is the first of December. How even? How is this year practically over? And why is it that the older you get the quicker the years go by? Me no likey! Anyway, I can’t complain to much because this time of the year is by far my most favourite time of the year. Christmas carols, twinkly lights all over and that generous sense of spirit that seems to be in abundance all make this my favourite season. Another thing? The food! Man, there’s no food like Christmas food. And I get especially excited about the left-overs. The possibilities are endless and nothing thrills me as much as finding half a gammon (ham), some turkey or left-over vegetables in the fridge after a big meal.
I know so many people turn their noses up at left-overs but what you need to remember is that left-over food is simply begging to be used. You see, the wonderful thing about left-overs is that all the work has been done for you. You don’t have to wait hours for that gammon or turkey to cook, you don’t have to wait for the brussels sprouts to reach that perfect level of caramelisation in the oven. None of that. All you need to do is think of a way to incorporate them into your next meal. And I’m not lying when I tell you that the possibilities are endless. A gammon can be turned into a delicious pasta bake, slices can be used in a delectable Eggs Benedict or you can chop it up and combine it with peas in a frittata. Turkey can be used in any way you would use left-over roast chicken. Salads, sandwiches and quesidillas are just a few options. Today though, I’m focussing on the brussels sprouts that you might have lying around after your Christmas meal.
Later this week I’ll share my recipe for the perfect brussels sprouts with you (and believe me, I used to be VERY anti-sprouts before I tried this recipe) which can be turned into this insanely delicious macaroni & cheese. The sweetness of the roasted brussels sprouts is so perfectly complimented by the salty, cheesiness of the mac & cheese and the bacon? Well, what isn’t better when you add bacon? This is such a great meal for Boxing day and will leave you feeling satisfied and will stretch that Christmas cheer just a little bit further.
- 100g butter
- ½ cup flour
- 1 litre milk heated with 1 bay leaf, 5 black peppercorns and a garlic clove
- 150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 500g macaroni, cooked
- 2-3 cups roasted brussels sprouts
- 1 packet bacon, chopped and fried
- ½ cup grated cheese, for the topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then whisk in the flour.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes until thick and glossy.
- Add the cheese and remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Season with salt & pepper and add the nutmeg.
- Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce then mix in the brussels sprouts and bacon.
- Transfer the pasta to a casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese then place in the oven.
- Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve.