Sunday, August 08, 2010

Roux the Day

So of course, all this posting has been the result of my dedication to local municipal matters, right?

Well, actually it's because the Lovely Bride has been out of town for the past week, touring Yellowstone with her mom. So I've had some time on my hands.

Yep, it is true: I've been batching it for the past week or so, and it has been pretty darn quiet. I've spent one or more nights crashed in front of the tube, vegging out, but for the most part I've been living a quiet, relatively low-maintenance life - light dinners, reading or working in the evening, and retiring early.

Of course, every time the LB is out of town, I want to try something from a culinary side. Usually I run through a dozen eggs in an attempt to make increasingly less-sad omelets. But this time I decided to go with making homemade macaroni and cheese.

I went with a recipe from here. I ended up at this particularly blog because the chef was on Chopped, a Food Network show that is a ramped-up, low-budget Iron Chef ("Two competitors? - Four competitors!" "Celebrity judges? - Food Network judges! "One mystery ingredient? - Three baskets full of mystery ingredients!"). And I wanted mac and cheese, but really didn't want to deal with the whole "Guy left alone cooks Kraft mac and cheese" thing (though when I do, I chop up little hot dogs into it).

So how did it go? Not bad. Didn't screw anything up too bad, though I was winging it making a half-recipe (and still had leftovers). Low-level chefs should be told that you should start the water to boil before you start the cheese sauce if you want things to time out OK. Oh, and if you are going to assume that your reader doesn't know what a roux is, you might want to indicate the kind of herbs you throw in on the end. But those are quibbles.

On the other hand, it was a first experience working with Gruyere, a cheese more expensive than I would otherwise try. And the idea of toasting breadcrumbs as a topping was a new thing for me that I will try more often. So I'd say it was a success, and adds one more thing to my culinary repertoire.

More later,