Good morning lovelies!I am a firm believer that we are all hardwired to love and crave certain foods. When we get it in our heads, said-mentioned-food becomes an obsession. It’s something we absolutely must have. Like crack. Yes. Crack. We all have our own food-crack.
What is yours?
For some people it’s a specific food, like chocolate. Or ice cream. Others pine for more of a general theme – like salt. Still yet, I know someone who can’t get enough alcohol. Let’s face it – 10 years working in the serving industry, I know a lot of someones who can’t get enough alcohol.
Personally – I need mac and cheese. Alcohol is a close second. But primarily, mac and cheese.
When that urge hits, nothing else will do. I lust after the stuff. The unparalleled comfort of the carby pasta and gooey-sticky-sweet-lasciviousness of melted cheese gets me every time. The only thing better than hot, fresh from the oven mac and cheese? Cold mac and cheese that I pick at with my fingers. There’s just something about the texture and the taste and the brain high that comes with it. And I’ll mow it until there’s nothing left to mow. Pair it with a good bottle of vino and I am one happy chicken.
And here’s the kicker: It doesn’t matter what season we’re in, there’s always a mac and cheese that fits the mood. You can keep it simple. You can spice things up. You can infuse. You can go swimming. You can ask for a heart attack. You can tie flowers in your hair. You can find an use for that excess Winter squash. You can Summer lovin’. You can soup it up. You can eat pizza. You can dine in Brooklyn. Or Vancouver Island. Or have a standard go-to. Or best yet, you can combine my two great food cravings.Mac. And. Cheese. My food-crack. I’ve come to terms with it. I’ve accepted it. And I will continue to inhale it until my dying day… And judging by the amount of cheese I must be ingesting, I don’t think that’s too far off.
Autumn Mac & Cheese
(printable recipe) – serves 4.
8 Oz. Orecchiette Pasta.
1 1/2 C Sharp & Aged Cheddar Cheese (the older the better!), grated.
1 C Fontina, grated.
1 Onion, peeled & diced.
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
1 Apple, cored and diced.
2 Links of (Smoked) Chorizo, chopped.
1 Lemon for Juice & Zest.
Loaf of Day Old Bread, cut into 2″ pieces.
2 C Milk or Cream.
1 Tbsp Flour.
1 Tsp Ground Mustard.
2 Tbsp Butter.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
Make the breadcrumbs. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F. As it heats, throw the bread into your food processor and pulse until you have coarse bread crumbs. Pour onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the juice of the lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for up to an hour, drying the crumbs out until crunchy and lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for 7-10 minutes or until al dente, stirring frequently. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat a glug or two of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion. Stir well. Allow to soften and then add the chorizo. Cook through. Toss in the garlic, give it a good stir and let cook until fragrant. Chuck in the apples. Soften but don’t mush, stirring frequently.
Pour the contents of the pot into a bowl and return the pot to the stove, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the butter. Once sizzling, throw in the flour and stir until the flour slightly changes in color and smells nutty – a minute or so. Gently whisk in the milk, ground mustard and a good helping of pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and allow to thicken, stirring constantly.
Once it thickens, throw in the cheese and melt through. Add the cooked pasta to the pot and the chorizo mixture. Mix well.
Spoon into big fat bowls, topping with the lemony breadcrumbs.
What’s your food-crack?