Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Be Still my Beating Heart (if I eat any more of this...seriously.)

The weather is getting too cold for these old bones.  When the temps dip below 85 degrees, you'll most likely find me in sweatshirts, jeans, and knee high socks.  No, I'm not joking, yes, I'm anemic, and yes, I take iron supplements.  Never fear, moms and worrywarts, I've got it covered.

As I write this, it's a sunny 65 outside, but I've got my space heater on MAX and I'm pretty sure that the tights I'm wearing under my sweatpants are melting to my legs.  While I don't really like the inevitable decline in outdoor temperatures, it does make me excited for a few things, the most noted of which includes all things COMFORT FOOD.  Stews, soups, crock pot meals, casseroles....I love them all.  This past weekend meant the experimentation of a new recipe on the BGE (Big Green Egg).  If you haven't read about my love for the BGE, go back and read up here.

Dave and I decided to make mac and cheese (aka Heart Attack On a Plate).  And oh, did it turn out glorious!!!  I researched a few BGE mac and cheese recipes online, but this one from The Pioneer Woman really stole my heart.  YUM.  I followed her directions, and substituted/added a few of my own things.  I didn't take pictures of everything I was doing because 1.  Food blogger I am not, 2.  I do not like to measure exactly, and 3. It is impossible to temper eggs with a roux while simultaneously taking pictures- I do not have 5 hands.   I just wanted to share with you the gloriousness that is the BGE and everything that comes out of its cavernous depths.  UH-MA-ZING.  For real.  No joke.  I wish I could give you a taste through the computer.  Did you ever go camping as a kid and remember how everything that your parents cooked over the campfire just tasted so darn good?  That excitement you felt over making hot dogs on a stick, or roasting marshmallows?  The BGE is that excitement for GROWN UPS.  I can't stop using capitals, I'm so in love.  Sigh.

Sorry, I got too excited to actually start making this, and was less excited about taking pictures of all of my ingredients.  That's all you get.

The original recipe called for a pound of pasta, but I knew better...Dave and I needed MORE.  I made about a pound and a half, and just adjusted my other ingredients accordingly.  We had enough for 2 dinners and one lunch this way.  

Whisk that roux!

The Pioneer Woman's recipe called for whole milk.  I bought a small container (1 cup size) of heavy cream, and combined it with the skim milk I keep in the fridge.  No need to go out and buy a bunch of whole milk just for this recipe.

I also added some ground mustard.  I saw it on another recipe and thought, Why not?

If you don't love cheese, we can't be friends.

After looking through a few recipes for mac and cheese, I decided to use a mixture of extra sharp cheddar, fontina, and a wedge of parmesan.  I didn't measure, I just shredded.  This looked like an acceptable amount, so I stopped shredding.

Ready to make love.  It's a match made in heaven.

Consummating the mac and cheese marriage. 
I forgot to take a picture, but I added some crumbled bacon into this feast.  That was a good decision.  A really good decision.  I also added some nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the cheese mixture.  Trust me- you want to add the nutmeg.

Don't forget to top it off!
 I left a handful of cheese out of the recipe and combined it with a palmful of panko bread crumbs to spread on top.   If you don't have panko bread crumbs in your cupboard, go out and buy some.  They have a much better texture than regular breadcrumbs, which can sometimes end up like flour if you get a cruddy brand.  You want crunch!!

Oh myyyy.  No picture exists of this amazingness "styled" on my plate.  It was in my belly too fast for that nonsense.
We cooked the mac and cheese in the BGE for a little over a half hour at a 350 temp.  Would this recipe still be amazing in the oven?  I'm sure it would.  Was it even more amazing in the BGE?  Yep!  The BGE gave the whole thing a wonderfully fire-roasted smokey flavor.  Unbelievable!  Dave and I agreed that this is a once a year recipe, though.  I'm sure our arteries are thanking us.


  1. I think you've just turned into a food blogger. Sounds like I'm too late for a bite?

  2. I was too selfish to share this time around....next year I'll save you a bite:)