Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Summerish Fall

Last night was the most fantastic evening. It consisted of great company of real foodies, food of the best quality ingredients, martini's, wine, and champagne. It doesn't get much better then that.
Even though Summer seems to still be lingering in the air, the menu was influenced by fall and a recent cheese class I just took. But the heat outside didn't stop us from creating some heat in the kitchen. I think Fall is when the real recipes come out of the recipe book, and real cooking starts. It is my favorite time of year for food and it just so happens that cheese is at its best in the Fall too. So I will share with you one of my favorite recipes to make during the fall.
Mac N Cheese
It was paired with a Burgundy Marinated Tri-Tip from Seaside Market in Cardiff, the last of the peppery arugula & cherry tomatoes from his garden tossed in a light Champagne vinaigrette.The mac n cheese was filled with top-notch cheese. Which cost me about $30.00 alone just for the cheese. Worth every penny! The cheese I used was a Quebec vintage 6 year cheddar from Canada which was tangy and sharp and was mixed with a creamy, earthy, nutty Gruyere cheese from Switzerland. The perfect combo for the perfect Mac!The appetizer of the evening was brought by our guests and consisted of the best of the best. Gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, figs & apples from their garden, walnuts, and homemade fig & flax seed crackers. It was all drizzled with a balsamic honey reduction. It was just a beautiful to eat as it was to look at.Mac N Cheese
kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
4 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup bread crumbs
olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Preheat over to 375%
Cook pasta for 6-8 minutes and drain (mix with some olive oil to avoid sticking together)
Heat milk in a saucepan but do not let it boil.
Melt butter in sauce pan and add the flour whisking constantly. Cook for 2 minutes. While whisking add the hot milk and cook till thick for 2 minutes until thick and smooth.Off the heat add cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir until the cheese is melted. Add it to the cooked noodles and add the noodles to a pyrex baking dish. Place the bread crumbs in a bowl and add olive oil until the bread crumbs are lightly wet. Add chopped Italian parsley to the bread crumb mixture. Top the macaroni with a little more cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.

You can make the mac n cheese a day ahead and refrigerate. Right before cooking it top it with cheese and bread crumbs.
It was an amazing evening indeed! Alright, its time for me to get out and enjoy this hot Summer weather in Fall.
I hope fall is starting out great for you!

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