Infinitely customisable thick cheesy nacho sauce that’s not too starchy or heavy… You can choose any kind of cheese you like, but I prefer a blend of strong hard cheese and something mild like emmental which seems to keep the sauce stringy!
- 100g grated hard cheese, a blend of your own choice around
- 5g cornflour/corn starch (you can thicken the sauce or thin it by adjusting this up or down a few grams)
- 5g Colemans mustard powder
- 5g turmeric
- 2g black pepper
- 175g evaporated milk (koffiemelk in NL)
fresh chilli, coriander, onions, garlic, smoked paprika etc etc
Whisk the cornflour, mustard, turmeric and black pepper into the evaporated milk in a pan. Add the cheese and stir over a medium heat for around ten minutes until the cheese has melted. The sauce should be nice and hot and smooth. If you’re adding extras do it now and let the sauce come back up to temprature before serving.
Pour over hot nacho chips (or indeed regular chips. Or anything.)
This pickle came about while working on a chilli cheeseburger for the next burger popup. It’s hot, sweet, smoky and sour and works brilliantly well with almost anything, especially burgers. If you don’t have a suitable BBQ you can charr the skins of the peppers under a grill then peel, but you’ll miss out on the smokey flavor.
- 12 large bell type peppers of different colours
- 250g cider vinegar
- 120g water
- 30g sugar
- 6g salt
- 5g coursly crushed black peppercorns
- 5g sweet onion or spring onion powder
- 5g sweet paprika
- 5g smoked hot paprika
- 1-5g jalapeño flakes to taste
I use a dehydrator to make the sweet paprika, spring onion powder and jalapeño flakes but you can also buy them as powders.
Light a Webber type chimney full of charcoal or briquettes and empty into the BBQ/smoker when ready (bottom of the BBQ for kettle type BBQs, offset Fire chamber for offset models). Lay the peppers directly on to the coals turning frequently until charred all over. When the peppers are nicely charred move them to one side (kettle bbq) or to the smoking chamber (offset models).
Add soaked wood chips or larger chunks of oak to the coals and smoke the peppers for around 2 hours, try to keep the temprature between 60-80 degrees around the peppers.
Meanwhile make the pickling liquid. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spice mixture. Set aside.
When the peppers are finished smoking, move them to a large bowl and wrap in cling film. Rest for ten minutes to loosen the skins, then peel as much skin off as you can, remove the stalks, seeds and and juices. Slice the peppers into 1cm wide strips and and transfer to a jar/Tupperware container big enough to hold them for a few weeks.
Pour the pickling liquid over the peppers and gently stir. The peppers are ready to eat after a couple of hours but improve after a week. Keeps for at least a month but I normally eat them faster!
This isn’t finished, probably won’t ever be finished, but here is a version of Mac & Cheese that I like, that other people have tasted and enjoyed. It is according to my notes, attempt no. 131 at making Fred Smith’s (from his days at Ad Cod), Mac & Cheese.
600g macaroni raw weight
70g plain flour
6g English mustard powder
1g smoked paprika
500g whole milk
260g strong cheese grated (something nice and old)
40g cider vinegar
30g frenchs mustard
3 egg yolks
50g butter to finish
Sea salt and black pepper to finish
Breadcrumbs and cheese to finish
100ml cream also to finish
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for one minute less than the pack instructions, drain and refresh in cold running water. Warm the milk over a medium heat stirring occasionally until it’s almost unomfortable to dip a finger in.
Melt the butter in a large pan on a medium heat. In a small bowl mix the flour, mustard powder, turmeric, paprika & salt. Add this to the butter and stir until it’s well combined and starts to sizzle. let this mixture cook for about 5 minutes, stiring constantly.
Gradually add the warm milk, stiring all the time. Once all the milk is added keep stiring until the sauce comes close to boiling and gets very thick. Add the cream and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the vinegar, French’s mustard and the marscapone. When the marscapone has dissolved into the sauce, fold in the remaining butter and egg yolks. Transfer the sauce to a clean pan or bowl, lay a piece of cling film over the surface of the sauce and leave to cool.
When you’re ready to build the Mac & cheese, mix the part cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce and pour into a suitably large oven dish. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs (preferably toasted sourdough crumbs) and cheese and the remaining 100ml cream. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven on 180 degrees for 22 mins. Rotate the dish if it’s browning unevenly and drop the oven temprature buy 20 degrees if it’s colouring too quickly.
This is based on the GPO recipe from Le Pigeon, but I scaled it up and added extra spice. It’s worth firing up the BBQ to really caramalised the onions but a hot griddle pan also works.
- 10 medium red onions, peeled & sliced into 1cm thick disks
- 500g red wine vinegar
- 200g Apple cider vinegar
- 250g water
- 10 tablespoons dark Muscavado sugar
- 4tbs sea salt
- a bunch of thyme (about 15g)
- a handful of bay leaves
- 5 cloves of garlic roughly crushed
- 3tbs yellow mustard seeds
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinamon stick
- 3 chipotle chillies, roughly chopped
If you’re grilling the onions on the BBQ, light it and get a nice big surface area of coals as hot as possible. If you’re using a grill pan turn it onto a high heat and wait until it starts smoking.
Combine all of the ingredients except the onions in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Using your hands gently rub vegetable oil onto the cut faces of the onion disks, try to keep them as complete disks rather than separate rings. Working in small batches lay the disks onto the BBQ or grill pan and let them sizzle for 1-2 minutes each side until clear dark grill marks are visible and they smell smokey. As they become ready flip them into the still hot pickling liquid. Repeat with the rest of the onion disks.
When done, let the onions cool enough to handle and transfer to a preserving jar. Let them cool completely then move to the fridge. They’re ready after a week but after 2 weeks they become really special.
When I’m down to about 250g in my jar, I make a new batch and mix the old batch through the new before re bottling, this gives excellent contrast between young, sweet crunchy onions and older soft & sharper onions.
- Chicken burger in panko breadcrumbs
- home baked brioche bun
- potato rosti
- pickled caramalised red onion (Le Pigeon)
- vanilla apple BBQ sauce
- aioli dressed salad
- fermented red chilli sauce
- drippy cheese
All of the sweet, sour, hot, creamy, flavors of the toppings worked so brilliantly well together with the chicken and the vanilla from the BBQ sauce was just noticeable enough, it was a very exciting burger.