Monday, October 05, 2009
Think Fast! and Use Wondra!
I had all intensions of making the perfect unctuous macaroni and cheese but even the best plans can go awry. I should have gone downstairs and retrieved my Betty Crocker (this is the only recipe I have ever used her for) but no, I was cock sure. I foraged in our meat/cheese drawer and found a plethora of “fromage du jour”. There was also bacon lurking, waiting to adhere its fat to my hips. No problem! I’m the gal!
The first big hurdle was the shape of the pasta. I take this very seriously. What does it look like? How will it soak up the sauce? Is it a shape I want to eat tonight? Swirling questions as I groped pasta in my pantry and there it was! Culinary Circle Authentic Bronze-Cut Trottole shaped pasta (on sale at Albertson’s) I knew the bronze cut would be the secret ingredient to my pasta absorbing cheese concoction.
I proceeded down my mental mac&chez checklist until….I looked at the finished sauce and realized it was cheese oil slurry lacking the emulsion qualities I wanted. I stepped back and said “flip”... I’m not about to make a separate roux to jack the white sauce. In a B.O.B. (Burst of Brilliance) I reached for my Wondra! A couple of T’s later and we were on smooth sailing. A pop in the oven with a dusting of toasted breadcrumbs and I put Kraft M&C to shame!
The Bailed Out Recipe: oven @350°
2 strips bacon, minced
¼-1/3C onion, finely diced
1 cl garlic, minced
2T olive oil
31/2C fromage du jour, grated- hats off to the food processor!
grates of nutmeg
1/2C additional milk (oops!)
2T Wondra flour
squeeze of lemon
sel e poive
toasted, buttered breadcrumbs (thank you freezer)
heavy cream to lubricate (o.k. any milk will do)
Directions: Put large pot of salted (like the sea) water on to boil. Cook pasta while the rest of the circus is going on. When done, drain and let hang until needed.
Sauté bacon, onion, garlic, olive oil until the onions are translucent and bacon has started to brown. Add flour and cook (yikes! A culinary term! It morphs into a roux!) Add milk and cook until thickened (here dear friends is the faux pas- not enough roux for the~ second culinary term~ white sauce) this will slightly coat the spoon not a heavy pudding coat which would be nice.
Add cheese, nutmeg and mustard. Check the damage. You can charge through and ignore the less than perfect M&C texture or bail out with Wondra. Adjust seasonings add black pepper, lemon and salt “to taste”.
By now the pasta has solidified- rinse in hot water and SHAKE VIGOROUSLY less is more in the water department.
Combine sauce and pasta in oil laced casserole- is there anything other than Corning Ware to use? Cook until bubbly (this culinary term has to be from the ‘50’s!) If you peer in and see it is not as creamy as you would like add a splash of heavy cream around the edges (o.k. I have this h.c. that I’m trying to use up).
Did I forget to mention enjoy? M&C in any variation is always a perfect meal.