Dinner tonight was simple, at least the salad was and easy. When I was out and about I picked up what I needed to make a simple Mac & Cheese for my husband for dinner. It is one of his favorites, but it cannot be too complex or out of the ordinary. It has to taste like the Mac & Cheese he grew up eating (sort of)
I thought we were going to have a simple green salad, but realized the greens were now brown and throwaway-able. But I had corn from the night before, lots of avocados (bag from Costco), and cherry tomatoes. My way of finding a recipe for what I have, is to put them all in a search and see what happens. Well, it seems that a corn, avocado, cherry tomato salad is quite common.
Here is what I came up with and I was wonderfully delicious.
2 Ears of left over corn – cut off kernels
1 Cup cut up cherry tomatoes of various colors.
2 Avocados, cut into 1/2 in cubes
2 TBS Champagne vinegar
1/4 Cup of your best EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
3 cloves of garlic pushed through a garlic press.
A touch of pepper and tiny touch of salt
Mix it all together, put in a couple of pretty white bowls, so the colors show and enjoy.
I subscribe to about a dozen foodie newsletters and email lists, so get new ideas of what might be good every day. Epicurious is one of the ones from which I receive daily ideas. This morning their Favorite Macaroni & Cheese Recipe arrived. Since my husband is a big fan and this looked simple, we had it for dinner.
- Serves 12
- Cooking time = 40 minutes
- Total Time = 1 hour
- For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the macaroni and sauce:
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
- 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 16 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar (about 6 cups)
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
- Special equipment:
- 9- by 13-inch baking dish ( I used an oval Le Creuset baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of oven. Butter the baking dish.
- Make the topping:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until butter foam subsides. Add panko and garlic; cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 4–6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, stir in Parmesan and salt, and set aside.
- Prepare the macaroni and sauce:
- Set a large, covered pot of salted water over high heat to boil. Add macaroni and cook until just al dente (avoid overcooking). Drain macaroni and set aside.
- In a large wide pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle flour over butter, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until roux is light golden, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and make a béchamel sauce. Raise heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes more.
- Add 2 tsp. salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Add the cheeses in three batches, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.
- Add the drained macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir well to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the buttered baking dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 18–22 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
It was a hit, but boy it made a lot. So I made labels; Mikie’s Mac & Cheese and put a lot in our extra freezer! Happy cooking and hope you all had as glorious a day as we did in the Pacific Northwest.