The pitmaster at Mighty Quinn’s, explains why salt is absolutely essential to his cooking
Hugh Mangum's tips on using salt and his Mac and cheese recipe
“It is the single most important ingredient in any kitchen," says Mangum. "If used improperly in a dish, it will either be a disaster or make the meal a pale shade of what it could be. Simply put, when used properly, salt makes whatever it is used to season taste like the perfect version of itself. Take a tomato; if you bite into a freshly picked tomato, it will taste good, but if you slice the freshly picked tomato and sprinkle it with a little sea salt (preferably Maldon), it becomes a euphoric experience.”
Mac and cheese
450g of pasta
2 tsp butter
3 tsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup jack cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
2 brioche rolls or bread of your choice, torn into small chunks
4 sprigs rosemary, picked and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp butter, melted (then add garlic and rosemary)
Salt and pepper for seasoning (to taste)
Pre-heat the oven to 180C°. Cook the pasta of your choice for about a minute under the suggested cooking time on the box. Drain and place in a casserole dish. Make a béchamel sauce using the butter and flour. Add two cups of milk to your mix. Once thickened, add one cup of cheddar cheese, one cup jack cheese, one cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of Pecorino Romano. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over pasta to completely cover.
Create a breadcrumb mix by combining the rolls with rosemary and garlic butter.
Top the pasta and cheese with your breadcrumb topping and add one cup of cheddar and ½ cup Pecorino Romano.
Bake until the top of the casserole is a golden colour.