Merry Men’s Shopping Day, if you celebrate that… Me? Shopping and wrapping all wrapped up weeks ago.
Today, after the weekly shopping, I spent much of the day cleaning house, as one does on Christmas Eve. That and we had cookies and leftover mac’n’cheese for the celebratory supper. Yes, leftover. We have had lots of foodstuffs arrive here at the hovel as gifts of the season. The selection from my brother and his family included several delicious Spanish cheeses. We enjoyed them here and there on crackers and such, then decided yesterday to make an extravagant mac’n’cheese with them. So:
- Saute on medium: 1/4# of thick cut applewood-smoked bacon, cut in 1/2″ strips, in a high-sided 12″ pan, with a splash of EVOO. Cook until all the bits are brown.
- Deglaze the pan with a splash or two of chardonnay (Glen Ellen, in this circumstance), then add 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add several tablespoons of additional EVOO and three+ tablespoons of butter, then perhaps 3/4 cup of AP flour. Lower heat and cook the flour down only to light brown. We’re going for getting rid of the flour taste from the roux, not to get additional color.
- Bring the heat back up to medium high, and add milk (low fat, because that’s what I have). I started with about 3 cups, and stirred constantly until the sauce thickened. I added a bit more milk, and then a bit more, until sauce stayed at a consistency for a medium even coat on the back of a spoon
- Then add all three of the cheeses, shredded, plus a little Mexican blend, and stirred until sauce was fully incorporated. Sample, then add salt, pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Cook noodles to al dente (we used elbow macaroni for that classic style), drain (but don’t rinse – leave the starch for the sauce to stick to) and put back into the pot.
- Add sauce to the noodles. I made enough sauce for twice the amount of noodles, so that’s reserved for another night. Stir gently, and let rest for a few minutes, for the noodles to finish cooking and taking up some flavor from the sauce.
- Serve and eat. I top with a twist or three of fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan.
- Stop eating before food coma sets in.
Nope, no pictures. It was too tasty to slow down and document at the time.
Enjoy your holidays, best as you can.
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Our condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Avadon A. Chaves, 20, of Turlock, California, who died on Dec. 20 at Al Asad, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident.