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Mac & Cheese
- 1 small carrot peeled and roughly chopped
- 300 g short pasta macaroni works best
- 400 ml plant milk
- 2 tsp white miso
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 60 g coconut oil odourless or “refined”. Just melted
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 100 g gram flour aka chickpea flour
- 70 ml water
- 150 g breadcrumbs I used panko
- 1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
To Make the Mac & Cheese Bites
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the chopped carrot and boil until soft and delicate (around 10 minutes).
Using a slotted spoon, remove the carrot from the water and place in the cup of a high speed blender.
Add a generous pinch of salt to the water in the saucepan and bring back to the boil.
Add the remaining mac and cheese ingredients to the blender cup with the carrot and blend until very smooth.
In a separate medium saucepan, add the blended sauce mixture and place over medium heat. Whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the saucepan of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente (around 10 minutes). Once cooked, strain the pasta and discard the water.
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir well to coat. Set aside.
Find the mould you’d like to use for the bites – make sure it’s freezer safe. Silicone works best. You can also use silicone baking moulds, cupcake tins or even ice cube trays. You want your bites to be around 2cm cubes/oblongs. Any bigger and they may not cook through properly.
Fill your mould with the mac and cheese, wrap and freeze for at least 5 hours.
To Make the Coating
In one small bowl, sieve the gram flour. Mix together the gram flour and the water. Whisk well until smooth. Set aside. In a second small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and flaky sea salt. Set aside.
Remove the mac and cheese bites from the freezer and (if necessary) cut them to size. Working quickly to prevent them from defrosting, drop a mac and cheese bite in the gram flour mixture and ensure it’s coated completely. Remove with a fork and allow the excess to drip off. Drop the bite into the bowl of breadcrumbs and toss to coat thoroughly. Remove with a different fork and set aside on a baking tray. Repeat until all the mac and cheese bites are coated.
At this stage, you can fry or bake the bites as detailed below or you can wrap them and return them to the freezer and cook later. Always cook from frozen.
To Fry the Mac and Cheese Bites
Preheat the oven to 100c/212f and place a baking tray inside.
Heat up a deep fryer or place a large, high-sided saucepan over medium heat filled with around 2 inches of neutral vegetable oil – bring to 170c/340f.
Lay a few sheets of kitchen towel on a baking tray and set aside. Carefully, using a spider or slotted spoon, lower three frozen, coated mac and cheese bites into the hot oil. allow to cook for around 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and piping hot inside.
Once cooked, remove from the oil and place on the kitchen towel to absorb some of the excess oil. Transfer the cooked bites to the warm oven and continue to cook the rest. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
To Bake the Mac and Cheese Bites
Preheat the oven to 190c/375f (fan) and place the frozen, coated mac and cheese bites on a baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper. Spread the bites around a cm apart if possible. Drizzle with a little oil.
Once the oven is hot, bake for 25-30 minutes (flipping half way through) or until golden brown on the outside and piping hot on the inside. Serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.