This weekend sees the first in a new series of weekly (Where possible) food recipes that I’ll be preparing with beer. These recipes will use the best of the best ingredients to ensure the fullest, richest and most delicious food which have the added benefit of beery goodness.
I’m kicking things off with a rich and tasty Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese which uses Heart & Soul by Vocation Brewery. You can of course use any good quality pale ale in yours.
Heart & Soul is a sessionable pale ale which makes use of West coast hops to offer a full bodied and fruity finish.
If you wanted to have a go with the same beer, I was able to pick up a can from Tesco.
Squash Mac & Cheese with Pale Ale
- 1 Small Butternut Squash
- 50g Butter
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 500ml Milk
- 250ml Heart & Soul Pale Ale
- 220g Pasta (Tubulour)
- 100g Cheddar
- 150g Mozzarella
- 50g Parmesan
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and brush both halves with a little oil. Place in a baking tray and cover tightly with foil. Allow to cook in the oven between 45 mins to an hour. They will be ready when a knife cuts through with little give.
- Once the cooked, scoop the squash into a bowl and discard the skin. Mash the squash and set aside.
- In a pan, add the garlic and the butter. Turn up the heat and allow the butter to melt gently whilst cooking the garlic. Try not to burn the garlic.
- Pour in the milk along with the pale ale and lightly boil.
- Add the pasta and cook for around 15 minutes until soft. Stir the mixture occasionally and watch the mixture doesn’t expand outside of the pan.
- Add the mashed buttnernut squash first. Moving onto the Parmesan cheese and allow to melt down, then add the softer cheddar ending with half of the light & fresh mozzarella.
- With everything melted and covered, pour into a baking dish\casserole dish and cook under the hot grill for up to 10 minutes. You want everything to be golden brown on top.
- Serve up and tuck in!
I cooked the mac & cheese up with some homemade flatbreads which were cooked in a very hot griddle pan.
The original recipe called for about 350g of flour but I found it to be far to sticky to work with whilst 400g was far more sensible.Don’t be afraid to add plenty more flour into the mixture if it feels too wet.
The flatbreads will cook fine in a non-stick pan with no oil.
- 400 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
- sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 350 g natural yoghurt
- Pour the yoghurt into a large bowl then sieve the flour and the baking powder into the same bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon, combine all of the ingredients until they come together into a doughy mound.
- Using your hands, start to knead the dough so that all of the flour and yoghurt is well combined.
- Tip onto a worktop with the extra flour and knead together until the dough is smooth and silky without being too sticky or wet.
- Shape into a round and put the dough back in the bowl with a tea towel or clingfilm covering it until your pan is piping hot.
- portion the mixture into 6 balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten them out as much as possible whilst using a little extra flour to avoid sticking to either the surface or the rolling pin itself.
- Place each uncooked flatbread in the pan one by one, allowing about 5 minutes per side to cook through thoroughly.
Using a dry griddle pan to cook the flatbreads gives them a really authentic look and adds amazing colour to the finished bread. Keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.
I melted a little butter and chopped up some rosemary which I dabbed onto each bread to really perk them up.
left over flatbreads can be kept in the freezer until you need them next. Let them defrost naturally on a surface ensuring they are well covered to avoid them drying out as they thaw.
Hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know if you tried them out for yourselves.