James Tanner brings us a combination of two of his favourite dishes. He loves cauliflower cheese and he adores macaroni and cheese, so he's mixed up the two for a quick and easy mid-week family meal!
150g small cauliflower florets
40g plain flour
1 dsp Dijon mustard
3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into thin lardons
Drizzle of sunflower oil
80g panko or rough breadcrumbs
200g cheddar cheese, grated or 50/50 mix of grated cheddar and Red Leicester
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
Crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni. Return to the boil, reduce the and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower florets and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until all is cooked and just tender.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk a little at a time, whisking between each addition until you have a thick, velvety sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat, and stir in the mustard then leave on a low simmer.
Sauté the bacon lardons with a splash of oil for two minutes to cook through then add the breadcrumbs. Stir together and set aside.
Preheat the grill to high. Drain the macaroni and cauliflower well and add immediately to the sauce. Stir in 150g of grated cheese, the egg yolk, parsley, and season with crushed sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour the mixture into a 24cm square ovenproof dish, top with the remaining grated cheese then with the bacon and breadcrumb mixture. Grill under a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until bubbling and golden. Leave to stand for 2 minutes before serving.