EAT YOUR GREENS

20140312-203726.jpgDon't let all the green in this picture fool you, what I cooked up on Monday night was nothing less than a fatty, cheesy, pile of love. I was having some of my cousins over for beer and cider and catch-ups. Half of them were back from South America, another from Indonesia and me just walked in the door from work (not that I'm jealous). To make up for lost time, I decided to make Ree's 'Fancy Mac'n'Cheese', which is a nice way of saying she jazzed it up with four different cheeses and golly but it worked. I opted out of the bacon, onion and mushrooms she uses because I had vegetarians and really, I just wanted to keep it classic. I served it up with a few bunches of smoky, grilled asparagus and a leaf, green apple and celery salad with my favourite dijon and cider vinegar dressing.

FANCY MAC'N'CHEESE

INGREDIENTS * 1 packet of macaroni * 4 tablespoons of butter * 1/4 cup of flour * 2 cups of milk *  2 eggs, beaten * 1/2 cup of grated parmesan * 1/2 cup of gruyere * 1/2 cup of fontina * a good hand-ful / crumbling of chevre (goat's cheese) * 1/4 cup of bread crumbs

METHOD Pre-heat the oven to 180 and cook the pasta until just undercooked, then drain and set aside. In a large pot (that is oven proof - I used my Le Creuset) melt the butter and whisk in the flour until you have a smooth, creamy paste - you're making a ROUX! Stir for a minute or so and gradually add the milk, stirring continuously. It will take between three and five minutes of constant stirring to thicken and start bubbling. Add some salt and pepper to season (I didn't use much salt, what with all that cheese). Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then slowly add a tablespoon of milk, stirring constantly. Add a couple more at the same pace, then slowly return the egg mixture back to the pot. Be careful here to pour slowly and stir constantly as you don't want the eggs to coddle. Once combined, add in the different cheeses, whisking as you go so the paste remains smooth and creamy. Leave aside a little of the gruyere and fontina for the top. Add in the macaroni and stir until all the pieces have a nice, thick covering of cheese and the texture is consistent. Add the additional cheese and some breadcrumbs to the top and place in the oven to bake for about twenty minutes.