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September 29, 2020

Macaroni Cheese evolved into Samp-a-roni and cheese.

Posted on September 28, 2016 by in pasta

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macaroni cheese

Macaroni cheese is a comfort food, whether you are English, Italian or American.

Macaroni  Cheese is a British invention, I know it is disputable, because pasta after all is an Italian invention. Let’s just give credit where it is due, shall we? A casserole made with cheese and pasta,known as “makerouns” was recorded in the famous medieval English cookbook, the Forme of Cury. It was already written in the 14th century. The casserole was made with freshly made pasta which was sandwiched between a mixture of melted butter and cheese. The modern version of macaroni and cheese was included in cookery writer Elizabeth Raffalds 1770 book, The Experienced English Housekeeper.

macaroni cheese

I think I made history too when I invented my Samp-a-roni and cheese. Yes, we know a “paptert”, which is proudly South African, but samp-a-roni, I don’t think so!

Well, before you can make my South African version of Macaroni cheese, you have to cook your samp. If you don’t know, samp is unbroken and un-husked maize (corn) kernels. I cook it in water until tender. It is called stampmielies in Afrikaans.

I cooked 1kg of samp for my British guest the other night. Half of the samp, I changed into samp risotto and the other half became my samp-a-roni.

My family LOVED it and so will yours. Here is how to cook samp.

macaroni cheese

Samp-a-roni and Cheese


250 g bacon – cooked and cut finely

2 large onions – chopped finely

5 ml smoked paprika

fresh thyme

salt and pepper

1 x 410 g tin tomato and onion mix – I used the Italian Flavor

7-8 cups cooked samp

250 ml cream

2 cups grated strong white cheddar or Parmesan cheese – keep 1/2 cup for the topping

8 eggs

If you want to make the crumbly topping

250 ml flour

250 ml grated parmesan

125 ml butter

salt, pepper and a pinch of curry powder (yes, it brings out the flavor of the cheese, believe it or not)


Mix the flour and cheese and rub the butter in with your fingertips until it has a crumbly consistency.


Heat a pan on the stove and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan, chop finely. Keep the fat from the bacon and fry your chopped onions in the same fat. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Prepare a big casserole dish or Pyrex dish by spraying it with Spray n Cook. Mix the eggs and cream together, season with salt and pepper and add to the samp and cheese. Mix well. Put half of the samp mix in the casserole dish. Top with the bacon, fried onion and half the tomato mix. Scoop the other half of the samp on top. Pour the rest of the tomato mix over the top, sprinkle the leftover cheese, one last seasoning with salt and pepper and bake for 45 -5- minutes. Serve with a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread.

macaroni cheese

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