While I'm certainly ready for the warmer weather, I had a sudden surge of nostalgia for winter foods this week. The rain helps a bit. I used the last of my favourite braising liquid (see Busy Mom Tip #6) tonight on some blade steaks (served with soba noodles, cauliflower and asparagus). I realized that oven-braising will soon be low on my list of priorities, especially since I'll be without a kitchen for the end of May and beginning of June. If I don't use it before then, there will be no way I will consider using my oven for three hours at the end of June. At least I'm hoping that the weather will not encourage such behaviour.
I'm leaning heavily towards gourmet macaroni and cheese tomorrow night. My mac and cheese recipe is not for the faint-hearted, but it is a true family favourite, and a perfect match with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
Gourmet Mac and Cheese
2 c. uncooked macaroni or your favourite shape
1/2 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. white cheddar, shredded
3 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. celery salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water until it is al dente. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. This may require two batches, as it is a large amount of liquid. Place the cooked pasta in a large baking dish and pour the custard over top. Place the baking dish in a pan filled with an inch of water and bake in 350F oven for 50 minutes. The top should be well-browned and the centre of the custard should be almost firm (not soupy). Serve in bowls with steamed broccoli and cauliflower scattered over the top.
This recipe seems like it doesn't have enough pasta for the sauce. If you're like me, you'll like it that way.