Just to clarify – this is not one dish called ‘Macaroni Cheese Bread and Butter Pudding’. That could be okay, but possibly quite horrific… anyway… As some of you may know, I volunteer about once a month for a charity called The Food Chain. On Sunday mornings a team of cooks gets together (usually one lead cook who plans the menu and everybody else helps to materialise it ;D) to cater for people with HIV related illnesses. About half the cooks are people who already work as cooks (like me). The other half are people who just love cooking and tend to watch a lot of cookery programmes. The mixture works extremely well I think and there is a lot of exchange of techniques and recipes going on. We cook traditional British, but also Indian, African, French, Italian – a lot of it depends on what the people want to eat (we also offer vegetarian/vegan) and a little bit on who the lead cook is. Around midday, the food is then distributed by another team of drivers and navigators.
Today, I wasn’t in charge of the menu, but the person who was had some nice twists on some standard dishes:
The sauce for the Macaroni Cheese was done with a few scoops of wholegrain mustard and creme fraiche (or double cream) and slightly mashed/overcooked broccoli, which made it much tastier than your average bland or stodgy version of this dish. Some people also had tomatoes in their portions.
The Bread and Butter Pudding had some real vanilla in the sauce, raisins and a dollop of marmelade on top. The marmelade just made it absolutely perfect! (I’m strongly suspecting the recipe is a Jamie Oliver!)
There were quite a few other dishes, e.g. a Kenyan fish and coconut stew which in the Food Chain cookbook goes under the name Girliama. I wonder if that is the correct spelling as I have not been able to find any other google hits for this name…
A cottage pie with cheese-mash was also on the menu as a comfort food for a cold and miserable day (the day did turn out much friendlier than expected!). It got transmuted a bit, because after the recipe it was supposed to contain a layer of boiled eggs and halved tomatoes between the mince and the mash… (that could be quite nice with mustard-mash, actually) – a bit like some cooks do it for Fisherman’s Pie.
Thought this might interest some people who want to jazz up some old favourites – or who’d like to become volunteers! 😉