A couple of years ago. Wait, I think it’s been longer than that.
Several years ago, a group of us decided to start a supper club. Every month, one of us would choose a restaurant that we wanted to try and we’d go out as a group. I can honestly say, it lasted for about five months until we realized that none of us had much time, or money for that matter, to spare.
The first restaurant we had gone to was Luce, an Italian restaurant on Corydon. I’m not sure how long ago it closed down, but in its place is a new sushi restaurant. The Winnipeg Free Press’s Marion Warhoft raved that it was really good. So, in the middle of one January several years ago, we went to try out this new joint. Long story longer, none of us was really impressed by it.
I had ordered a deluxe mac ‘n cheese. Supposedly, it had four cheeses. Supposedly, it was a flavour explosion in my mouth and I wouldn’t want any other. Supposedly, it was going to improve my eyesight and clarity. Yeah, none of those things happened. In fact, my eye sight’s gotten considerably worse. But that’s another story for another day.
Mac ‘n cheese should be one of the ultimate comfort foods: creamy, cheesy, artery-clogging goodness. Tonight, I made one of my usual homemade mac ‘n cheese bakes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any elbow macaroni and had to use rotini instead, hence the rot’n cheese.
This is one of the rarest of incidences where I don’t use a recipe. I’m pretty sure I messed up the science but it works for me so I’m not knockin’ it.
I start with a bechamel.
[I usually use salted butter and melt it over medium heat (I should note that I use medium heat on my stove top because anything higher will burn the butter too quickly. I suggest you become intimate with your stove top, if you know what I mean *wink wink nudge nudge*). Then I add almost the same amount in flour and wait until I get this "nutty" aroma. That usually takes about several minutes. Then I add milk and cream, whisk together until the mixture thickens. If you prefer a more precise way of making a bechamel, here is Mario Batali's version.]
Afterwards I add some Cheez-Whiz and whatever grated cheese I have handy. Today, I only had some mozzarella. Add some salt and pepper to taste and your cheese sauce is done. Half the battle is over. Boil some pasta and then mix in the cheese sauce.
Tonight, I decided to make it into a bake. I didn’t have any bread crumbs so I combined Rice Krispies, parmesan, oregano and fresh time. Scooped the rot ‘n cheese into four individual cocottes and put the crumb mixture on top. I baked at 425 Fahrenheit for about ten minutes. Voila! Homemade rot ‘n cheese bake.