Food and Food: Home Cookin'21 Apr 2008 10:23 pm

For those of you too nervous to click on the roach post, here’s the exact opposite: yummy yummy food.

It’s still snowy horribly here (although as I look out, it seems like maybe the snow has FINALLY stopped) so I made homemade macaroni and cheese the other night. It’s total comfort food, and given the fact that I’m heading back into the gym tomorrow for the first time in almost a year and a half (yikes, how did that happen) I thought it might be nice to have a good last winter fatten me up meal.

The sauce is pretty easy, it’s a classic bechamel, from the Joy of Cooking. I seem to make it slightly differently each time, sometimes using the oven, sometimes two pots, sometimes just one.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • lots and lots of grated cheese. Cheddar, parmesan, colby, goat’s…any kind of cheese you want. I like a mix best.

You’ll also need some pasta. I didn’t use macaroni this time, but instead orecchiette, my pasta of the moment. They are disc shaped and I thought they might hold the cheese well. I used about 500g, I think.

Simmer the milk in a small saucepan, studding the onion with the cloves and through the bay leaf. Simmer 10-15 minutes. I usually sprinkle in some cayenne or chili powder for some kick.

In another small saucepan, make a roux of butter and flour. Melt the butter, then add the flour, stirring until smooth and cooking over medium low until the mix starts to frizzle, about 2-3 minutes. Strain the milk mixture in, and stir until smooth and thickened.

At that point…add your cheese.

My pre-grated old cheddar and parm I had to use up.

This turned a kind of horrifying orange, I think aided by the orange casted oven light.

I sprinkled the top with yet more cheese…and voila! Super satisfying home made mac and cheese. Highly recommended. Really good on top: fried onions, broiled bread crumb and butter mixture, bacon etc etc.

Tonight, Mike made a hot dog with THE WORKS. He’d been talking about it for days, and finally made it happen tonight.

He used everything you see in this photo on it:

From bottom left, clockwise:

Sour cream, mac and cheese (yes, I know), mashed potatoes (what), white kidney bean ‘hummus’, homemade saurkraut, cheddar, an egg, pickles, and then in the middle, Vienna weiners, mushrooms and fried onions.

I did not partake.

This is the finished product. He baked most of the layers for 10 minutes in the oven, and added the fried egg and sprouts at the last minute.

And then, maybe the most meta of all photos I’ve taken, a photo of Mike eating a hot dog under a photo of Mike eating a hot dog.

2 Responses to “Dogs”

  1. on 21 Apr 2008 at 10:34 pm 32-P

    Ack! It is like Tubby Dog has packed up and moved into your kitchen. (I’m referring to the franchise, not Mike.) I lack the cojones to eat Tubby Dogs. I think the least heavily-topped one is chili and crushed potato chips and pineapple and Russian dressing or something like that.

  2. on 22 Apr 2008 at 5:17 pm Tubby Mike

    I love Tubby dogs, and I make sure to get one every time I visit Calgary. If I thought there was any money in it I’d try to open a franchise here.

    I hate to be a nitpicker after correcting the steak post, but I’ll consider it fair play after asking her not to post that picture online. The bechamel recipe here is wrong. The ingredients are correct, but you make the roux first, then add the milk and simmer it. The order is important for giving the sauce the right texture and flavour, because the starch has to be cooked into the milk. It needs time to bond to the milk proteins and fat globules. Readers at home be advised.