Monday, October 4, 2010

Lundi: Recipes

To me, spellcraft is like cooking. Get the recipe right and your family is full and happy; get the spell right and the universe rewards your efforts. Both require forethought, collection of ingredients and tools and a good deal of will. A truly gifted practitioner can work magick without any outward gadgetry. But most of us need something to focus on, even if it is nothing more than a piece of paper. Monday here at HQ will be devoted to the magick of food preparation. I hope to inspire and make you smile. We’ll save the hard stuff for later in the week.

Today, one of my family’s favorite comfort foods as it came down to me from my mother and her mother before her: Macaroni and Cheese

1/3 cup butter plus a little extra for the baking dishes
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups milk (I use 2% generally but using 2 ½ cups of 2% and ½ cup of evaporated milk makes a richer sauce perfect for gatherings and holidays)
About 3 cups of grated cheddar cheese, medium, sharp or both
1 pound large elbow macaroni
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

With some softened butter, grease the baking dish or dishes you will be using. The recipe makes two dinner-sized servings of m & c so go large here. I usually use two Corningware dishes so I can cook one off and freeze the other for a night when I don’t have time to cook.

Cook macaroni as per package instructions.

While the macaroni is boiling, melt 1/3 cup butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and cook at a low boil for two minutes, stirring constantly (you want the flour “taste” to cook out). Warm the milk about a minute in the microwave (or let it sit out and rise to room temperature before hand) and add to your roux. Stir occasionally as it comes to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once your bĂ©chamel sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon, add grated cheese by handfuls and stir to melt. VoilĂ ; cheese sauce.

Drain cooked macaroni and pour into baking dish or dishes. Add cheese sauce and mix thoroughly. You can add more grated cheese on top and/or some breadcrumbs for a nice crust if you like.

Bake m & c for about ½ hour or until it bubbles nicely. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad. A dish even Thomas Jefferson would love.


Charles L. Wallace said...

Aw, then, looking forward to Mondays, Miss Pauline... nice recipe for mac n cheese, and being a bit of a saucier myself, I shall attempt it.

Tonight, inspired by my Puerto Rican friends, Bistec. Little minute steaks [these ones happened to be Angus by happenstance]. Sprinkle Adobo seasoning on each side and then dust each side in flour. Get some oil going and saute` some onion strips [Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had used butter, but I used safflower oil]. Once they are somewhat translucent, put the lil' steaks in and brown on each side to however you like 'em cooked. I washed mine down wif Budweiser and Clamato Chelada. Mmmmm Lundi Gras, certainement!

Pauline said...

Charles that does sound good! The mac & cheese went well with sparkling wine last night; tres francais, oui?

Lundi gras; *grins*

Timmy! said...

Mmmmmm... Mac n cheese. It sure was good last night, Pauline. You've outdone yourself in sumptousness (if I may paraphrase "Mr. Burns"). TJ would've gone to bed as satisfied as yours truly.

And, yes, I finally got your new site to work through my external internet and saved it to my favorites. I still can't make it work through our intranet connection, though... :-(

Pauline said...

Yup; good stuff. I wonder what the technological hiccough is with HQ and your network. Hmmmm....

Charles L. Wallace said...

Perchance Timmy is using NMCI? Navy and Marine Corps Intranet. It is so slow and awkward that users typically refer to it as Not Mission Capable Internet ;-) True story!

Charles L. Wallace said...

Aye, very French, indeed :-) haha!

Pauline said...

Good guess, Charles, but no. The Timster is dealing with a Work Comp insurer. Equally as horrifying as any government network, without a doubt.