Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Competition Time!

So...I'm very excited! J and I are going to be in a Mac and Cheese cook off on Wednesday called, get this, the s'MACdown! We are competing with Welsh Rarebit Mac and Cheese. (Note: This is a dish I scarcely heard of, never mind cooked in my years on this earth. I hear people eat it in bars, and found it when I was looking up fondue mac and cheese, another variation I'd be happy to chow down on.) I've been debating what shape pasta is best for mac and cheese, but have come up empty handed. I saw some campanula-shaped pasta (bells) that looked good. I am very picky when it comes to pasta shapes. I absolutely do not like shells, despising the way that they cup each other to become thick, toothy pasta blobs. Bowties are ok, but I don't like the way they lay flat on one another. Elbows are good, but i don't like small pasta for mac and cheese. I feel like they should be bigger. I will be looking for larger elbows and frilly bell thingys. Good luck to me. (I really wanted to find rabbit-shaped pasta so I could call it "Welsh Rabbit" and it would be funny, but it's short notice to find rabbit pasta before Valentine's Day, locally.) They will be cooked tomorrow, and kept in the fridge to cut down on prep time on Wednesday. J is coming over so we can prep everything, so Wednesday, all I have to do is throw it all together and put it in the oven. I know there will be dry mustard and sweet Hungarian paprika, and I never put paprika in anything without a generous dash of cayenne pepper, to spice it up a bit. There will be bacon, too. Not fancy bacon, but crispy crunchy well-done bacon. There will also be beer, however, the jury is out on which kind, though Guinness is probably a no go, since it will affect the color of the dish in a not-so-positive way. Lastly is cheese. Oh the cheese. There are a zillion different cheeses I can go with. My criteria is pretty simple. It must be easy to find, affordable and taste good. Having something to do with the motherland would be nice, too.

As for the cheese part, my greatest fear (when making cheese sauce) is that the cheese will break. There is not much that can break my heart deeper than broken cheese. I can fix cake, improvise, improve, adapt. I can make gravy, roast chicken, barbeque a turkey, but to date, have NEVER been able to make a velvety smooth cheese sauce. Once it breaks, there is not much to fix it. I'd rather break a custard than break a cheese sauce! There is much research to do these next two days...

3 comments:

vickiknit said...

I love mac & cheese, wish I could be there to be your taste tester. Hope you win!

Steven said...

I was there and can vouch for it, it was delicious. Thanks again! -(your new friend) Steve

miukat said...

Thanks so much for all of your support! We had a blast and are looking forward to more food competitions. Long live bacon!

 
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