Surf and turf is an American export and combines seafood and meat together in a single dish. It has gluttonous origins and suggests extravagance by combining two of the most expensive things off the menu. Can’t decide between the steak or the lobster? Have both! Gluttons unite!
Here in New Zealand – a country that has an abundance of great seafood and meat – we don’t really do surf and turf. In true kiwi style, extravagance only goes with a slice of humble pie and what is more humble than mac and cheese?
This recipe uses 3 elements and the oven but as long as you read the recipe through before you start, you’ll be ok. There’s plenty of time to do everything even if there is a little multi-tasking involved. Clean up as you go, there’s 15 minutes of downtime at the end to take care of the dishes and throw together a quick salad.
Surf & Turf Mac & Cheese
Enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches
(or a nuclear family)
250 grams (half a pound) short-cut pasta (eg. macaroni, penne, farfalle etc)
Water for cooking pasta
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1/4 teapspoon truffle salt (substitute with plain salt)
1 tablespoon oil
5 rashers streaky bacon
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/cup panko breadcrumbs
- Turn on oven to 200°C. I use the grill (broil) setting to get a crisp top.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente (10 minutes). I add salt, but it’s up to you.
- Drain and pour into a single ovenproof dish or 4 large ramekins.
- Cut bacon into bite sized pieces.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan.
- Add bacon, prawns and smoked paprika. Fry until cooked through.
- Add the meat to the ovenproof dish.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until the flour is incorporated. This is called a roux (pronouced roo).
- Slowly add 1 cup milk while stirring, followed by 1 cup of grated cheese and the truffle salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Pour the sauce into the ovenproof dish covering evenly.
- Top with the panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of grated cheese and a pinch of oregano.
- Grill/broil/bake for 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve with a salad.