Because of the holiday, posting is going to be light this week. I figured something of mine ought to be light and if it can’t be my thighs courtesy of Christmas Eve scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese and desserts out the ying yang, then it might as well be my blog, right?
Speaking of macaroni and cheese, I thought I’d share the recipe that I like to follow, which I got from someone, somehow, someway, somewhere, sometime ago. I make it only once a year because it takes that long for my cholesterol to recover and come up for air. A word to the wise … before you make it, ask Santa for some stretchy pants.
Here we go:
Go take out a second mortgage and then run to Wegmans for the following:
- ¼ pound butter, better known as Reason to Live
- ½ cup flour
- 5½ cups of whole milk, also known as Udder Butter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1¼ pounds extra-sharp raw goat-milk cheddar, grated. However, unless you’ve won the lottery, beware that the sticker shock might just kill you and if you die before you even eat this dish, then you’re going to miss out on dying after you eat this dish, from the combined fat, calories and cholesterol which is way more fun. So, if you haven’t raided your kids’ piggy banks recently, just do what I do and substitute a really good aged sharp cheddar instead. It will cost you half as much and your kids won’t have to muck up your yard by burying their piggy banks in the rhododendrons
- 8 oz fontina, grated
- 8 oz gruyere, grated
- 1 pound pasta shells
- 2½ cups panko breadcrumbs. I searched Wegmans high and low for these things and finally found them in the Asian aisle. But only after I made a spectacle of myself in front of the croutons by yelling WHO’S HOGGING ALL THE STUPID PANKO BREADCRUMBS?
Then, do the following:
Try not to gobble the 2+ pounds of cheese sitting before you. You will be in the bathroom the entire night and your guests will be sitting at the table wondering where the hell dinner is and not caring one iota that your intestines have exploded out of your body cavity and are hanging from the bathroom ceiling.
Heat the milk in a pot to just below boiling. I think this is called scalding, but don’t quote me on that. Do you really want to learn culinary vocabulary from someone who thinks Velveeta is a food group?
In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, stir in the flour and cook for one minute. ONE MINUTE. That’s what the recipe says and whenever a recipe calls for such a short, exact measurement of time, I feel compelled to use an egg timer and a stop watch and the hourglass timer from the Boggle game and make my kids count to sixty with a metronome.
I believe the phrase you’re probably searching for right now is “batshit crazy.”
Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, whisking constantly.
Whisk, whisk, whisk.
Whisk some more.
Watch your right bicep quadruple in size. This only happens if you’re right handed. I have no idea what happens if you’re left-handed. I’d ask Nate but I’m too busy whisking.
Whisk until you age into social security or the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. For me, it’s different every time. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, sometimes it’s more like twenty-five. I have no idea why there’s such a discrepancy but my current theory is that my stove is in cahoots with my washing machine and they’re taking turns screwing with me.
Remove the pot from the stove and add the spices and slowly stir in all the cheese until it melts and becomes liquid Heaven.
Try to refrain from constructing a beer bong out of rigatoni and wax paper to funnel the entire mixture into your stomach. You are not in college any more, remember? Act like an adult and use a really big straw. Or a shop vac.
In the meantime, cook your pasta until it’s “al dente.” Don’t ask me what “al dente” means because I’ll just tell you that it means still firm but not actually hard anymore, kind of like your husband after you tell him you feel like getting down and dirty with some stripping in the bedroom and then you kiss him, cop a feel and run upstairs and he immediately chases after you and as soon as he crosses the threshold of the master bedroom, you greet him with a huge smile and a ginormous bottle of DIF wallpaper gel and a scraper.
Then again, that might be an example of “al flaccid.” Now do you see why you do not want to learn culinary vocabulary from me?
Drain your pasta and then stir it into the cheese mixture.
Dump the whole thing into a greased 9 x 13 dish.
Yell at me because you soon realize that it takes up a lot more than one 9 x 13 dish so have another, smaller dish handy to catch the overflow and then you won’t have to call me bad names and I won’t have to cry.
Cover both dishes with panko breadcrumbs. But first, yell WHO’S HOGGING ALL THE STUPID PANKO BREADCRUMBS because deja vu is fun.
Preheat the broiler and when it’s ready, stick the dishes under it for approximately 4-5 minutes. Or, you can preheat your oven to 350° and then bake the dishes for about 20 minutes or until all the cheese fornicates with all the noodles and it’s just one massive, bubbling, slightly browned orgy.
Put on those stretchy pants and tell your waist to keep in touch and send you a postcard.