I’m not a great cook, but I’d like to be. This is an aspiration that becomes more pronounced when you’re presented, continually, with the desire and the opportunity to be cooking for other people, rather than just eating whatever’s on hand because you’re flying solo. Nobody wants to eat what I would make for myself. So, here’s my mission to learn how to make things that other people want to eat. People like presentation. They like cheese, a little salt, probably spices, maybe cream. All of these are pretty good things. I like this particular recipe because you can add almost anything to it and it will still be great: bacon, broccoli, squash, eggplant.
I just looked down and there’s a tiny ink drawing on my left hand from last night. I put it there. Solo.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese (Directly inspired by Elephantine)
Pasta (small elbows are better, ramekins are tiny)
Panko bread crumbs
2 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
1 cup of whole milk
Extra sharp cheddar
Parmesan (for dusting on top)
Salt, Pepper, Olive oil
Cook the pasta until it’s done, drain, and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, let it get nice and foamy. Add flour, spices, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk together for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk, a bit at a time, whisking continually. Turn up the heat a shade. Let it come to a boil, and then reduce the heat again. Sprinkle in the cheese, stirring it so it melts evenly. Stir in the pasta, stirring until it is coated. Spoon warm mixture into ramekins, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan. Add a dusting of cayenne on top (if you like it extra hot.)
Pre-heat oven to 400°F, bake until done. About fifteen minutes.