Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is it any good? Sir, it's too good, at least.

Tonight I screwed up this recipe.

I KNOW! Hardly seems possible, does it? It's pretty much the recipe I learned in Home Ec in 1978. And yet, it's bubbling away in the oven, safe to eat but bland and rather hideous and NOT what Alton ordered. At all. Most decidedly, it will look nothing like this:


I am looking for a manageable recipe for mac and cheese, since Ian loves it (and in fact, so do Eric and I) but the stuff in the box is just gross - it smells like melting plastic to me. We grownups already have veins stuffed with trans fats and other non-food items, but Ian's relatively intact, so if I can find a recipe that I can cook and freeze in portions, I'll feel okay about that.

This may not be the recipe.

In other news, we saw Sweeney Todd today. Everything about it was done in a perfectly artful way, and beautiful, and yet I cannot quite say I enjoyed it. I appreciated it, but I spent two hours cringing, because I knew the story and people had said that it was shockingly bloody. And it is. It seems like Burton decided to play up the blood and squick out on the sex in the story (especially in the score), which is interesting to me.

The stars acquitted themselves quite respectably, and the supporting players were excellent. The vocals were quite good. Eric took issue with the physical choices for Todd and Antony, who, though they had spent years respectively in forced labor and at sea, affected walks that he called 'prancing' and 'mincing'. (And they were.) (I didn't notice during the film, but I must say he's right.)

I loved the costumes and all the art direction.

Also - Is that Michael Palin getting the closest shave? The internet is nearly silent on this vital point of information.


TeamDandy said...

I make very easy mac & cheese - I have never frozen it but I don't see why you couldn't. Perhaps you'd like it. Won't hurt my feelings if you don't :-)

1 lb pasta - elbows, shells or rotini work well to hold the cheese
1+ lb extra sharp cheddar cheese
Some milk (1 cup?)
Black pepper

Boil the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Slice the
cheese (like you'd put on a cracker - not too thin.) In a 13x9 pan, layer half of the pasta and then completely cover it with cheese slices. Add some black pepper if you like. Then layer the rest of the pasta and cover it completely with cheese slices. Add black pepper on top if you like.

Then pour in some milk - maybe 1/4 to 1/2 an inch when it settles at the bottom of the pan.

Put it in the oven for ~30 minutes at 350.

The key is EXTRA SHARP cheddar. You can also put the pan in the fridge before putting in the milk and then bake it later, adding time for it being cold. And you can bake it at a higher temp for less time if you are baking something else with it. And you can use a smaller but taller casserole pan to get less of the crunchy top and more of the soft insides, depending on your family's tastes.

Deanne said...

betsy —
Deanne from Kansas City. Remember me?

Anyhoo... here's a no-fail, pretty darn good mac and cheese recipe from Nigella.

8 oz macaroni
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese turns you on. And I used a lot more than 2 cups when I made it. but I really like cheese).
1 cup evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed)
2 eggs
dash of fresh nutmeg

Preheat the oven 425 degrees.

Cook the macaroni according to package instructions, then drain it and put it back in the hot, empty pan.

In a bowl, mix the milk and eggs, then add the cheese and nutmeg. (I also added a bit of salt and pepper and tabasco, but that's me).

Pour cheese mixture over the pasta. Stir well. Add more salt and pepper if you want.

Pour into a buttered, flat, wide ovenproof dish or pan (I used my big cast iron skillet) and bake 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling and brown around the edges.

Serves 4. Or two. Or one. ; )


Stacie said...

Mmmm, Allllllllton....

I meant to say, "Mmm, yummy cheesy goodness..." (which might be the same thing?)

Also? Rusty was oh-so-impressed with your cookies and milk communion, complete with Good Eats reference (I want to blog about that but don't want to mess up the details. Therefore you must blog it so I may then link to it. Ok, then.)

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

1) yet another http:// overload in your link.

2) I found the to-die-for mac-&-cheese the other night at, of all places, The Brewer's Art brewpub in Baltimore: Basic mac-&-cheese, seasoned with a dose of the same rosemary-and-garlic seasoning that the pub uses for its frites, and served up piping hot in a small cast-iron skillet. Maybe I'll attempt a forced conversion upon my still-loving-cheap-a$$ed-instant-mac-&-"cheese" wife........