Jackie Cooper’s Curried Eggs and Macaroni

My ex-boyfriend Vic used to live in the same building as me, but in a different section. A walk across the front lawn, the ring of a bell and a walk up stairs via a different entrance used to be required when visiting. He’s moved now. He now lives three floors directly underneath me. Madness.  This is what our block of flats is like these days…

Muswell Hill Flats

I emailed Vic to ask him if he liked Macaroni Cheese, as it was next on my testing schedule, and when I said Jackie’s recipe had EGGS in it he was dead keen. He loves eggs.  We Brits call it Macaroni Cheese rather than Macaroni AND Cheese by the way, I have no idea why.

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Jackie Cooper’s Curried Eggs and Macaroni

Shortly before making it, I realised there was no actual cheese in Jackie’s Mac, so in order not to disappoint my dinner guest, I made half the recipe with eggs and half the recipe with cheese. 

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An admission.  I have never made Macaroni Cheese.  I have never even eaten Macaroni Cheese.  Can you buy pasta in the UK that is actually called macaroni?  I couldn’t find any.  I was stumped in Morrisons and guessed at rigatoni.  This was a mistake.  Vic said about five times, “this isn’t macaroni”.

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Jackie’s Curried Eggs with Macaroni/Rigatoni (right) was good.  But the Macaroni/Rigatoni Cheese (left) was better.  But I’m guessing that was because it had loads of Gruyere in it…

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So here’s Jackie’s recipe if you fancy trying it, Vic thought it would be better with a bit of cheese in it…

Jackie Cooper’s Curried Eggs and Macaroni

1/2 lb macaroni

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 – 1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

6 hard-boiled eggs

Buttered bread crumbs

This is how Jackie says his mum makes it:

Bring a pot of water to boil, salt and place macaroni in and let cook until tender, drain and wash under hot water until all the starch is removed.

Next she makes a cream sauce – first melt butter, and add flour, curry powder, salt and milk – cook until thickened and add to the macaroni.

Place macaroni in baking dish, alternating layers of macaroni with layers of hard boiled eggs, ending with the macaroni on top.  

Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs and brown under the broiler [grill].

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2 Responses to Jackie Cooper’s Curried Eggs and Macaroni

  1. Greg 13 Jan, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    Wow…another jaw-dropping insight into the world of how different the British eating habits are from the Americans. I would never have guessed that you had never made (or eaten) Mac and Cheese! One or another variation seems to make it on our weekly meal list as “comfort food.” When we moved to Greece (almost 6 years ago now), I deeply missed what we called “bachelor dinner”…this involved the box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (which errantly says “serves 4”, but works out just right for 2) with frozen green beans (sauteed in butter, seasoned with pepper) and frozen fish sticks (Mrs. Paul’s). The Kraft box was a childhood memory…it came with “elbow” macaroni and a packet of neon orange-colored cheese powder. Milk and butter were added to the box mix. They used to be around 4 or 5 /$1. The “Deluxe” dinner they came out with years later (which included actual, sort of, cheese sauce) just isn’t the same. Homemade Mac and Cheese is great…but the box stuff is still a guilty pleasure.
    I loaded up on the box dinners (which now cost about $1.50 each) on our trip back to the States last September. (Discarding the cheap pasta included and only packing the foil pouches of magic cheese powder to save luggage space.) I hoard them now. The powder gets used for the amazingly addictive garlic/cheese bread recipe from the long departed Smokehouse restaurant in Los Angeles. I attempted to make cheese powder once, but that required a gargantuan block of Cheddar and 2 days of processing and drying and grinding and effort…only to end up with a couple of cups of something that didn’t really measure up to expectations.
    Jackie Cooper’s recipe sounds delicious and I will definitely be trying this one out this week!

    • Jenny 13 Jan, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

      Ha ha! Whenever my friend Heather goes to the States, she always asks me what foodstuffs I would like her to bring back and my mind always goes completely blank. THIS is what I’ll ask her for next time. Madness!!! xx

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