Thursday, December 4, 2008

Macaroni and White Cheddar with Artichokes


8 oz. of small dry pasta (I prefer cavatappi)
3 tbsp. butter
3. tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed, set aside in a small bowl
6 oz. shredded white cheddar
3 oz. shredded Gruyere
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
14 oz. diced artichoke hearts
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. bottle Kasteel Cru Lager

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a casserole or glass pie dish.
2) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions for its shape, being very careful to drain when just al dente, or still firm. Toss with a little oil to prevent sticking in the colander and set aside.
3) Melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming subsides; add flour, whisking quickly to form a roux.
4) When roux is golden and nearly done (about 2 minutes), add minced garlic, whisking constantly for about 20 seconds (the roux is extremely hot).
5) Carefully add the milk and bring to a simmer. Add cayenne and chili powder. Stir constantly.
6) When mixture has thickened slightly, about 4-5 minutes, add 3/4 of the shredded mixed cheeses, stirring constantly. When cheese has dissolved into the sauce, add salt or pepper to taste.
7) Add pasta to the saucepot along with artichoke hearts, and stir to coat.
8) Pour mixture into baking dish. Combine the remaining 1/4 shredded cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the top. Season with salt, pepper and dried parsley. Bake for 20 minutes or until top has formed a golden, crisp crust. Cool for 5 minutes, and serve.
9) Open Kasteel Cru.
10) Enjoy together.

Kasteel Cru is a French lager--I know, I know, generally that's just an all-around terrible idea, akin to a vintage Jersey City pinot noir methode champagnoise, granted, calm down, settle yourselves. Crack one open anyway. It's brewed with Alsace spring water (largely irrelevant) and champagne yeast (surprisingly tasty and surpassingly refreshing). A great beer for a rich dish, and this sucker is comfort food.

Thanksgiving was a blast, but as Fate would have it, Gabe and I spent the Monday and Tuesday prior watching plumbers tear out all the pipes in our kitchen and bathroom at our landlord's behest. Then on Wednesday we watched sewage drip through the hole in our bathroom ceiling onto our toilet, making the prospect of using it rather less than usually desirable. Thanksgiving Day (we're up to Thursday now, yes?) the emergency plumber arrived, but alas! was sent away by our charming upstairs neighbors, who are apparently very kinky and like to dump waste on people's heads, but semi-anonymously and without consent or bothering with ads in the Village Voice. That's right, they wouldn't let the man in. Well, at long last the problem was resolved, right after our landlord told our upstairs neighbors that if they still weren't in the mood to let in an emergency plumber, he was going to find himself in the mood to shut off their water. Sometimes moods align themselves like that, I suppose.

So on Thanksgiving, when we had twelve people at the apartment, what did we do? Gabe took a page from MacGyver's book and made a plastic drainage system, while I composed a sign stating WE ARE THANKFUL FOR INDOOR PLUMBING. BATHROOM IS SANITIZED; IGNORE CEILING. And we made merry anyway. Purple doesn't look as merry as she could in that last picture, but that's just because she didn't know the camera was on.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I'm salivating. I'm also still waiting for my shipment of Thanksgiving leftovers. Darn postal service! What day did you send them out?