Virgin to Veteran – week 3

Two weeks may be my maximum comfort limit for cooking from just one cookbook because again I’ve got to week 3 of a cookbook and I’ve struggled with the motivation levels. This week, despite the menu planning, I cooked just one thing from Virgin to Veteran, the macaroni cheese recipe.

It was ok but to be honest it wasn’t really the recipe in the book anyway, as Stern called for a fair selection of different seasonings which I didn’t have, so instead of a probably deliciously infused cheese sauce, it was a rather plain cheese sauce, pretty much exactly like how I normally make macaroni cheese anyway. However the breadcrumb topping was new to me (at least in macaroni recipes) and that was nice, although even then I adapted it, instead of using garlic with the breadcrumbs I added a frozen herb / garlic mix from Waitrose, which definitely added some much needed flavour. However a big plus point with the recipe in general was that although still obviously cheesy it wasn’t so cheesy that you were at risk of a coronary just from looking at the recipe (ahem Nigella with your 4 cheese macaronis).

So, in summary I enjoyed using Sam Stern’s Virgin to Veteran, it is a bit of a beginners book (as the title suggests) but it’s not too patronising / simple. I will certainly be using the book again (if only I could find someone who liked those delicious fritter recipes, so they can eat them with me) but it’s not particularly a book for everyday budget eating, at least not if you want to stick faithfully to it, as some of the ingredient lists are on the long side……


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