Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Have you guys heard? Apparently, the coming winter is going to be a long, cold one.

Experts are foreseeing freezing temperatures and loads of snow.

Which I’m not exactly excited about, to be honest.

Frozen rain isn’t exactly my thing. Eww. Nope.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Even though it does make for the perfect excuse to start developing mac ‘n’ cheese recipes.

Starting with Jalapeno Poppers Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Hidden under a blanket of crispy, golden breadcrumbs, this combination of two classic American recipes is rich and creamy, but also spicy & punchy.

Comfort food at its finest if you ask me!

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

And if we are to face 12 weeks of snow (!!!), we are going to need many bowls of it.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese (serves 2-3):

Ingredients:

  • 180g short dry pasta (preferably macaroni)
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 big handful grated cheese (I used 2/3 cheddar and 1/3 parmesan)
  • 500 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno, finely chopped, plus a few slices and 3 tbsp of pickling juice
  • 3 tbsp bread or panko crumbs
  • Salt + pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C grill.

2. In a big saucepan, mix together the milk, the cream cheese and the jalapeno picking juice. Add the macaroni, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until tender (about 10 min).

3. Mix in the grated cheese, then cook for a few more minutes.

4. Mix in the chopped jalapenos, then transfer to an ovenproof dish, top with a few more jalapeno slices before sprinkling the breadcrumbs.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and serve immediately.

Jalapeno Poppers Mac n Cheese

Recipe | Italian-style sausage casserole

Weather in London has been so confusing lately. I’d leave home in the morning feeling too hot in a sweater and come back home in the evening with frozen (and most probably wet) feet. Which I hate.

However, it kind of gives me the licence to eat both summer and winter food within one day. Which I love. Because salads, avocado and grilled meats VS stews, and soups and cheeeeeeeeese!

In a desperate attempt not to choose between the best of two seasons, I tried to reconcile both within one dish. And I think I might have succeeded with this Italian-style sausage casserole! In your face stupid confusing weather!

For 3-4 people, you’ll need:Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipe1 onion2 celery sticks, half a red chilli (feel free to adjust to your own taste), 6 sausages (I used Waitrose’s Toulouse sausages but any kind would work as long as they’re not too sweet. I think vegetarian sausages would work too, maybe add a bit more smoked paprika to balance it out…), as much garlic as you can take (I’m French, so I used 5 big cloves, but you definitely don’t have to!), 1/2 a bowl of uncooked white beans (you can also use a can, in which case you’ll want to skip step 1), 1 bowl of kale, thyme (as much as you like, which for me means A LOT), 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 vegetable stock cube1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 1: Put the beans in a big pot. Cover with water. Add salt and cook until tender (about 30-40 minutes). Then rince under cold water and set aside.

You can do that step in advance (or even skip it all together by using canned beans!)

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 2: Dice the vegetables. Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipe(yuuuup, that’s A LOT of garlic! #sorrynotsorry)Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 3: Chop up your sausages in bite-sized chuncks (I usually do 6-7 with each sausage)

Step 4: Put your diced veggies in a big pot with a spoonful of olive oil. Cook until slightly caramelized. 

Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 5: Add the sausages in and cook until they’re almost entirely cooked through. 

Step 6: Add in the beans, the stock cube, the can of tomatoes and half a glass of water. Add salt and pepper, thyme and smoked paprika too. Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeTime to taste (you know, in case you need to adjust the seasoning or something… 😜 )!
Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeCake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 7: Once your casserole has bubbled away for 5-10 minutes and has almost reach the right half-way between soup and stew consistency, stir in the kale and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes. 
Cake + Whisky | Italian-style sausage casserole recipeStep 8: Spoon into bowls in some kind of artistic way. It’s obviously not my forte (but I do know a brilliant fix: add mozzarella on top and melt it for a few minutes in the microwave!).

Step 9: Eat in excellent company while watching the weather change through the window (or you know, re-re-re-watching Friends for the 700th time… I won’t judge!)

Recipe | Italian-style sausage casserole