Friday, January 2, 2009

...a productive evening

for a change, I accomplished something instead of going to bed early...

the stew looks lovely...



fortunately, I'll have help eating it...
it freezes well and gets better as it sits...

but tonight, the pĂ­ece de resistance was this...

my "Mac n'Cheese, for grown-ups"...



I pulled out all the stops...
used exactly what I've always wanted to use...
and the cheese sauce is, hands down, the best I've ever made...
[it's also the best I've ever tasted...if I may be so brazen...]

I usually use extra virgin olive oil & w.w.flour for the roux...
this time, I used all purpose flour, a TBLSP of EVOO...
and 2 sticks of unsalted sweet butter...

I let the flour butter mix "toast" until it smelled "nutty"...

then...

I added the usual: garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme...
dried Coleman's mustard, Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper...
NUTMEG, 1+ C of Harvey's Bristol Creme Sherry...
and 2 qts of half & half....[I usually use whole milk...]

as it s-l-o-w-l-y came up to temperature...

I added cheese :
4 C shredded 2 % milk sharp cheddar [it isn't oily as it melts...]
4 C shredded "cheddar Jack"[mild cheddar & Monteray Jack]
1 container [4 oz] grated Parmigiana Regiano...
[the real difference maker...the long aged P.R.]

it took a L-O-N-G time for the cheese to melt in...
and the sauce to thicken...close to 40 mins...
but when I tasted it...WOW !
what cheesy goodness !

my goal was to finally make a sauce that was really cheesy...
but not greasy or oily...EUREKA !

I spread the cooked macaroni into 2 medium sized cassoroles...
sprinkled crumbled Gorgonzola on both...
[I wasn't kidding about the "grown-ups" part...]
then ladled on the sauce, which had thickened...
stirring, so it oozed around the pasta, coating every morsel...
with yummy, cheesy goodness...

I sprinkled about a C of shredded Tillamook sharp cheddar...
on the top of each casserole...
and covered them with foil to await the baking tomorrow...
[350˚ for 1 hour, uncovered...]



I was also inspired by something I ate a couple of days ago...
the concept was good...but the results...ewww...

so naturally I thought, "I can do better than that..."

NOT being the kind of kitchen maven who's good at baking...
I did research... sweated bullets[NOT in the food...]
and came up with this...



the basic "thing" tastes good, just as I had hoped...
but I have "further plans"...



involving these...hope it works...

4 comments:

The Calico Quilter said...

Oh, honey, you had me until "gorgonzola". No thanks!

What are you going to do with that pastry crust? Orange and chocolate. That has possibilities!

Miz Minka who's too lazy to sign in said...

Wow. :)

catsinger said...

...Calico... stay tuned...& it's NOT a crust....!

MM...OK, so sign-in already...
it has to take longer to type in all the "...who's too lazy to sign-in" stuff than to sign-in...

you're as bad as me & the Dibley behind the scenes stuff... ;D
& just you wait...I've tasted "it"
[the mystery...] and it's GOOD sistah...you & the Mr are going to love it...[I even like it...;D]

catsinger said...

...Calico...I use maybe 1/2 C crumbled Gorgonzola scattered all about...I've also used both blue & Roquefort in the past... this Gorg was fairly young, and NOT too strong...
I gets melted into the cheese sauce and leaves just a hint of a tang...
the Parm. Reg. covers any ammonia twang[& this didn't have any to begin with...] so it's all good...
if you didn't know it was there,
you wouldn't guess... it just adds to the mystique...;D