We are an office of food lovers here at Forever Bespoke HQ, so much so that we went to our local SMAC meeting this week – that's the Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club – at Sloans Pub in Glasgow. It's described as “an evening for people who love mac and cheese” and it certainly lived up to it.
With our plates filled with mac & cheese, we set out to decide on the new Mac of the Month at Sloans, Glasgow. The best flavour was to be voted by everyone attending, but it wasn't just any old mac we were trying. At SMAC, the flavours are adventurous and quirky, giving you a night of macaroni to remember. Before you're allowed to eat, you have to follow the SMAC protocol and recite the following pledge:
I hereby pledge allegiance to
all things macaroni, regardless
of creed, consistency or topping,
so help me SMAC.
First up was Sloans Legendary Mac – a classic mac & cheese. Sometimes, the classics are the best. We all loved this one as it was the perfect amount of creamy and cheesy.
Spinach and Ricotta Mac also featured – this one wasn't as creamy as all the rest, but the ricotta complemented it brilliantly. With the spinach on top, you could convince yourself that it's definitely healthy and reasonable to eat if you're on a diet.
Beef Lasagne Mac – the lasagne mac was the winner of the night, meaning you'll be able to buy it in the pub for the next month. It's exactly what you image it to be, lasagne sheets replaced with cheesy mac. It's like two dinners in one!
Finally, there was the Mystery Mac, which was Mushroom and Black Truffle Oil Mac – the mystery mac isn't revealed until the end of the night, with everyone guessing what it's going to be. The mushroom and truffle oil concluded this months Italian theme. This one had a good strong flavour to it and got good reviews from all the staff!
By the time we had tried all the macaroni variations, we were left feeling very happy and very full. We loved the night and are now proud SMAC members, planning on when to go again! We've also searched for some new macaroni flavours which we'd like to try, have a look at them and tell us what you think...
1. Pulled Pork Mac
Pulled pork is everywhere right now, so why not try it on top of some mac & cheese? Cook them separately and then put the pulled pork on top of your macaroni on the plate. Add a little bit of BBQ sauce on the top for some extra flavour!
2. Macaroni Pie
The macaroni pie is a Scottish classic. Made out of shortcrust pastry, filled with macaroni cheese and left with an open top – it's a quick and easy way to get your mac fix on the go.
3. Chorizo Macaroni
Smoky chorizo will spice up any dish and is the perfect compliment to your cheesy pasta. Combine it with some chicken or bacon to add even more flavours to your meal.
4. Mac & Cheese Pizza
Macaroni and pizza, two of the best comfort foods around. But what happens if you merge them in to one dish? Cook your mac & cheese, then put it on top of a plain pizza base. Sprinkle some more cheese on top and then bake it in the oven – there's no need for any pizza sauce, the mac will be creamy enough on its own.
5. Chilli Mac
This is another two-meals-into-one recipe, adding a kick to your mac! This can all be cooked in the one pot (this is always a bonus) and should be filling enough that you won't need to cook rice or any other sides to go with it. Put in plenty of beans, spices and cheese to make it full of flavour!
6. Macaroni Burger
There are two different versions of a macaroni burger, and it's up to you to choose your favourite! The first one involves making your macaroni cheese in to a burger shape, and having it with salad in the burger bun. The second version is topping a beef burger with mac & cheese. Be warned, this meal can get a bit messy when you're trying to eat it!
7. Avocado Mac
A healthier take on the classic mac! Make your macaroni cheese and a separate avocado sauce (you might want to add some garlic and herbs to this) and mix it all together just before serving. This will give you a lovely creamy dish, which will also be a brilliant shade of green.
8. Fried Mac & Cheese Balls
At the other end of the health scale, we've found out that there is such a thing as fried mac & cheese balls. This will be one to try if you're a fan of fried mozzarella sticks and have plenty of time on your hands. The recipe for these does have a few stages, including cooling down your macaroni, shaping it and freezing it before frying. For the best results, you'll want to do the prep work for these the day before you plan on eating them.
9. Blue Cheese Mac
A cheese filled twist on your normal mac recipe – just add in your favourite blue cheeses to your sauce in place of some of the cheddar. You might also want to sprinkle some over the top of your cooked mac to get a more intense flavour out of it.
10. Candied Bacon & Waffle Macaroni
Our final recipe to try was featured at the SMAC event in January. It sounds like a bit of an odd combo, but the sweetness of the candied bacon and waffle sat perfectly with the savoury mac & cheese. It's an adventurous recipe, but well worth trying out! Have your waffle broken up and mixed through the mac so that you get a good mix of sweet and savoury...if you're brave enough!
If you are a fellow Mac Addict check out the SMAC facebook for regular Macaroni Updates!
Melissa (Forever Bespoke Marketing)