- 1 litre milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 t smoked paprika
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 150 g butter
- 150 g flour
- 1 kg macaroni
- 200 g mature Cheddar, grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black
- pepper, to taste
- flour, for dusting
- beaten egg, for dipping
- Panko breadcrumbs, for coating
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- sea salt, to taste
Slowly bring the milk, spices, herbs, garlic and onion to a boil. Once it starts to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat. Strain into a jug and discard the herbs and onion.
In a clean saucepan, melt the butter then gradually add the flour, stirring continually to blend well.
Add the milk, stir until smooth and cook over a low heat. Stir continually until the sauce thickens and you can no longer taste the flour.
While the sauce is cooking, cook the macaroni until al dente, drain and set aside.
When the sauce is ready, add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the macaroni and stir into the sauce. Season to taste.
Pour the mixture into baking dish lined with wax paper. Leave to cool and chill overnight to set.
Turn out onto a clean work surface and cut into bitesized squares. Dust with flour, dip in egg and coat with breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry at 180°C until golden brown. Season with salt and serve with any dip you prefer.