• Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Chocolate and Cheese

    So I don't know about you, but when I have trouble falling asleep (more often than I'd care to admit) I think about food. Last night/this morning in the wee hours, I was thinking the following: Maybe another martini is in order; is it too early for the AC; mmmm pain au chocolate and coffee for breakfast.

    I decided against the martini; put on the fan; and went back to bed. Hm, I’ll bet the laser-cut Cuisipro would be great (resisting the pun here.) The coarse side was fabululous and my dark Torino chocolate melted wonderfully on my lightly toasted Iggy's bread. Into all the nooks and crannies. Onto my fingers. And, oops, onto the keyboard. Note to self: clean before C. gets home.

    While I was happily noshing and sipping…I read Orangette’s post "Fritters, and Fair Warning" which begins by listing certain foods so naughty and luscious that we might need one of those warnings such as I used to laugh at on cigarette packs. Why do we expend so much energy in the struggle against our nature? They’re even putting “nutrition labels”on boxes of donuts, for God's sakes. Resistance is futile. We cannot be saved from ourselves. The fritters look and sound delicious!

    One of Molly’s irresistables is a mac and cheese which includes (you are sitting down, aren’t you?) a pound of cheese.

    I don’t make m&c often, but it has a special place in my heart. My husband is one of those who thought all m&c came in a blue box and was naturally orange. The first time I made real m&c for my husband was a revelation. It might have something to do with why we are now married.

    As luck would have it, I too made m&c last night – though much smaller quantities were involved. It was only me eating. Last night’s rendition was prompted by a fit of late night frig inventorying.
    • bit of cheddar that needed to be eaten,
    • a gem of a goat cheese (Crottin de Champcol, Moule’ a’ la louche),
    • some cream (don’t usually have that)
    • and pancetta I forgot was there.

    I’d also had a bit of the Vya vermouth saved, swirled over ice and around glass then poured out to be used in…what?

    So here’s how my m&c evolved.
    1. Boiled the little elbows.
    2. Browned the pancetta, moved it out.
    3. Add butter. Softened minced shallot.
    4. Deglazed with vermouth.
    5. Added some sauce and gravy flour. Some milk, some cream.
    6. Stirred in the cheddar, the goat cheese, combination of pecorino romano/parmiggiano regiano,
    7. Seasoned with cayenne, mustard, sauzon con azafran (search for saffron fruitless – I know it’s in there), S&P.
    8. Macaroni, mornay into two small calphalon tapas pans.
    9. Breadcrumbs, butter, pancetta and more pecorino/parmiggiano on top,
    10. popped under the broiler…

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