R and her husband split a few entree items, including a surprisingly tasty plate of macaroni and cheese. Likely appalled that I had eaten so little, they were kind enough to offer me a bite and this set off a craving that has stuck with me for over two months now, but I have only just addressed it.
I don't really eat macaroni and cheese much - not since my college days. That orange-powder-in-the-blue-box abomination from Kraft is gross and the cheese-sauce-in-foil-pouch-over-shells stuff from Velveeta isn't much better. D dislikes cream-based pasta dishes, so it never occurred to me to exert the effort to make homemade mac-and-cheese. However, the craving was unstoppable, so I decided that I would whip up a batch even if I had to eat it all myself. How hard could it be?
I should preface the rest of this post by telling you that I don't cook. D is a
Fortunately, I found the Barefoot Contessa's "Grown-up Mac-and-Cheese" recipe (labeled easy) and decided that this might be a sophisticated enough creation to satisfy D's discriminating palate. It pairs three cheeses, Gruyere, extra sharp Cheddar and Blue, with chewy oven roasted bacon and a basil breadcrumb crust. I have one thing to say about this recipe - man does it ever use a lot of dishes! Here's the tally:
1 mini food processor bowl to chop the breadcrumbs and basil
1 cookie sheet to roast the bacon
1 baking rack to roast said bacon upon
1 pasta pot
1 saucepan to warm the milk
1 saucepan to prepare the cheese sauce
2 individual baking dishes (I cheated and used one)
Now maybe I'm the only one surprised by this. My lack of culinary skill leaves me with little frame of reference. Perhaps loads of dishes is just how it goes; but boy was it ever worth it. This mac-and-cheese was divine. There was just enough bite from the sharp cheeses and herbs and texture from the whole wheat pasta and chewy roasted bacon (everything is better with bacon, no?). Sublime comfort food; it even got the seal of approval from D. High praise indeed.