Tag Archives: Tasty

Chili Con Carne Mac and Cheese

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

One of my dreams is to one day own a mac and cheese food truck!

You can just about make any flavour and then toss it through macaroni and bake it.  Imagine all the things you like, then mix it in with macaroni.  For example, I love chili and chili con carne, mix it in with macaroni, put cheese on top and and bake it in the oven and you have chili mac and cheese.  You can also have it cold like a salad like they do in the Philippines.  There they have a salad with macaroni, its usually with pineapple, ham, palm seeds, cheddar cheese and coconut dressed with mayonnaise or sour cream, sounds weird but bloody tasty stuff.

Flavours are endless really, vego’s can have Napolitana sauce and cheese or use three types of cheeses and mix it with some mustard and a little cream and bake it with some nice cheddar on top.  My favourite flavour that I’ve come up with is roasted, crispy pork belly all chopped up and tossed in a dry pan to crispen up a little more, finish it some strips smokey roasted capsicums (peppers for non Aussies), roasted red onions and chipotle sauce, toss through macaroni and bake in the oven with some stinky cheese like an Epoisses or Taleggio.  Decadence with all the good things in one plate!  Served with crushed avocado on top and sour cream and boy, you’ve got a dish no one will turn their backs on.

Try this out for starters and see what the fuss is all about.  I am using the chili recipe from the a previous blog to make things a little easier or if you make that chili recipe and wonder what you can do with any left overs.

If you cook up a braise dish like osso bucco or lamb shank or even a curry, try cutting the meaty bits down a little more and toss it through macaroni, add cheese that closely fits its flavour profile on top and bake it and who knows, maybe you can come up with your original mac and cheese!

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 8


700gr Raw Macaroni

100gr Salt

500gr Alexandrina Cheddar Cheese – grated

1 Recipe of Chili Con Carne Recipe – previous articles



For the Macaroni

  1. Place ten litres of water to boil with the salt
  2. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook until al dente.  This is when you bite into a pasta, it has some resistance to the teeth but no crunch
  3. Staring in a colander and run cold water through, set aside until needed


To Finish:

  1. Pre Heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Using a large pot, place the chili con carne sauce and heat up until simmering
  3. Add the blanched pasta and stir through for about 5 minutes
  4. Place into a baking dish
  5. Sprinkle the cheese on top until “all” the surface area is covered, this will inhibit the pasta from getting dry
  6. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven or until the cheese is golden brown
Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang


Cajun Spice Mix

American food!!  I can’t stop thinking about it having just come back from the U.S.  I love this lavish, comfort food.  The thought of American diners just gets the mouth watering.  Southern fried chicken, hot dogs, fries with melted cheese, clam chowders and you can’t forget hamburgers.  When I was in Washington I had some of the finest Buffalo Wings in a little typical American diner which was almost 60 years old.  I swear I could have just sat there and ate those little morsels all night and don’t get me started on the pork ribs, bloody amazing!

The one thing I will definately go back to the U.S. for would be some Southern food, to taste things like gumbo, jambalaya and generally Creole food.  I love the spices, the intense, bold, huge flavours that this type of food has.  There’s very little refinement in the food, just huge flavours which are so indulgent that you can’t help but come back for more.  This is type of food and cooking is one I so enjoy cooking and eating.  It’s honest cooking, with so much history behind it.  Cooking is changing so much these days and I think sometimes it is very important to just enjoy the simple things, there are so many benefits from doing so, for one it’s easy to understand, easy to cook and damn easy to eat!  No use of gels and foams here!

This recipe is great for BBQ’s or as Americans would call it – “cook outs”.  Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and rub it into ribs, meats for grilling or even fish.  Great for things like gumbo as the spice mix as well as for a spice mix for Southern fried chicken.  Mix this spice mix with flour then you marinate your chicken in butter milk over night, douse it in egg wash then into the Cajun spice mix, shallow fried in vegetable oil and serve collard greens and grits.  Man oh man what a meal!

Start with this recipe, I will blog about all the other dishes I have mentioned at a later time to see if a Filipino-Australian can cook American food!

Cajun Spice Mix

¼ cup salt

2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. freshly ground white pepper

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. chilli powder

¼ tsp. dried thyme

¼ tsp ground mustard

1/8 tsp ground cloves


Place all ingredients in a container and mix well.