Thursday, May 14, 2009

Unemployed Cookery

I made a successful bash at Unemployed Chili for a potluck last week (see paparazzi photo, left), a freezer/pantry-cleaning concoction of roasted chicken breast, cannellini beans, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic, fresh thyme, chili spices. Gallons and gallons of the stuff. It was good, but I've been eating it for a week straight (with Greek yoghurt and crackers), so it was time to...

...think about another thing I could cook that would involve taking a lot of things out of the freezer and turning them into a new thing I could put in the freezer.

I don't eat a lot of cheese, so when I have some that seems like it might outrun me, I throw it in the freezer. I pulled out every cheese I could find except the rind of good parmeggiano I'm saving for if I ever make minestrone or something, and created:

Macaroni and Freezer Cheez
containing therein a heartening comingling of cheeses and pastas

* Bunged in the refrigerator to thaw and get to know each other for a couple days: Huge wedge of untouched brie (yes I said brie), aged cheddar, swiss, havarti, pre-grated mild cheddar, the last of a container of soft cream cheese and some slices of American! And some grated parmeggiano/romano mix for good measure. Oh the huddled masses. Notice the impatient and un food processor-ly way in which cheese is hacked into rough chunks (above).

* Flung together: a sauce made by rendering bacon lardons, making a roux with the bacon fat (once bacon removed) and some butter, then adding mostly chicken stock and one can of condensed milk (right? evaporated? I forget). At least a quart and a half of stock, I think. For flavor, pepper, dry mustard, paprika, Worchestershire--no salt. Huge sauce. Tons of sauce. Impatience again a guiding force as I fling the cheese in without waiting for the previous handfuls to melt completely, resulting in Pockets of Swiss in final product.

* Get exhausted, let the sauce cool down. Takes about three hours, with occasional stirs of the volcanic mixture, which thickens enormously.

* Cooked: all kinds of pasta from open boxes in the cupboard. But I still should have cooked more! I boiled farfalle, elbow macaroni, baby penne, and ditalini--shakings from various boxes--and it still wasn't enough. Also, got impatient and didn't boil it long enough, but as I hate anything more cooked than al dente pasta with a passion, that's okay. I figure I'll be microwaving this stuff for weeks anyhow. Boil pasta, drain carefully, mix with the sauce. Reserve a little cooking water just in case.

* Eaten! Nice bowlful seen here, topped with a sprinkling of the bacon, which should really be turned into a crunchy bread topping, but I don't have a roaster/baking pan to bake the mac and cheese in anyhow, so the whole thing is going to be stored in the extremely thin aluminum chili pot, so thin that when I cook with it I put it on top of a Le Creuset frying pan, the heaviest thing I own.

It's good! Thrilled I put no salt in it, as you can imagine it's all pretty salty. And I like the combination of cheeses. Now I have a huge pot of mac and cheese and still a ton of cheese sauce, so it's time to buy a lot of Lactaid and broccoli. And freeze again.

1 comment:

Demandra said...

"...think about another thing I could cook that would involve taking a lot of things out of the freezer and turning them into a new thing I could put in the freezer."