The Pleasure is all Mine

February4

I chatted about my post yesterday with a friend who directed me to one of her favourite food books that was neglected from my list.  This clever book is written by Suzanne Pirret and is a  a combination of recipes and a narrative about being single and wondering why eating alone has gotten such a bad rap.

I quote:  “This is a book about cooking for yourself decadently.  There are serious cookbooks written by serious chefs and light and breezy cookbooks written by wholesome cooks.  This is both.  It’s naughty and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Each chapter begins with a short story based on my experiences living in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London followed by my repertoire of recipes that have been inspired by modern classics, some great chefs, my travels and, I might add, a far amount of successful experimentation.  They’re all for one serving and written in a fairly simple style….Think solitude at its most celebratory. ”

My friend tells me that these recipes are so delicious she still cooks from this book now that she’s is an old married lady (celebrating her first anniversary this weekend).

This is her favourite:

Not Suzanne's Version

Not Suzanne's Version

“Best Mac “N” Cheese

Nothing fancy or weird.  This is the real deal.

Cook a c of elbow macaroni in boiling salted water with a little oil added.  Meanwhile , in another saucepan, make a bechamel:  melt a T of butter, whisk in a T of flour and cook until bubbly.  Add a c of cold milk and continue whisking until thickened,  Season with salt, white pepper, a nice pinch of hot chili powder and some chopped fresh thyme of flat-leafed parsley (or just a simple grating of nutmeg).  Stir in a cup of grated cheese, such as a combo of white and yellow cheddar, or some parmigiana and/or Emmental-whatever you favourites might be.  You have a lot oif choices.

Drain the pasta and toss into your bechamel.  Spoon into a small casserole dish, sprinkle with toasted fresh or panko breadcrumbs, place on a baking sheet and stick in a 400 degree F oven until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes or so.

Drink whatever you want.”

I would respectfully challenge my friend to a mac and cheese cook off.  My family loves my version adapted from The Best of Bridge.  You decide.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese

A delicious Mac and Cheese from The Lobby on York

A delicious Mac and Cheese from The Lobby on York

Cook and drain 2 1/2 c macaroni and set aside. Melt 1/4 c butter over medium heat; stir in 1/4 c flour; mix well. Add 2 c milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add 1 t salt, 1 t sugar (sounds strange but just do it!) and 8 oz. grated cheddar cheese. Mix well. Mix 2/3 c fat free sour cream and 1 1/3 c cottage cheese into sauce. Mix with macaroni. Sprinkle another 2 c grated cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 c bread crumbs over top. Dot with 2 T butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Serves 6.


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