Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cleaning Up

I knew I had another life lesson from my grade-school friend Barbara but couldn't remember what it was until the other day. (By the way - this is not my kitchen, but it could be...)

I was making my "famous" macaroni & cheese. Usually it starts at one end of my kitchen and goes to the other. That's because it requires a lot of pans for a simple dish. But as I was going from one prep to the next, there was a voice in my head that kept saying: "if you clean up as you go along, it will be easier." So I kept cleaning up and putting things away as I went along. By the time the dish was done, the kitchen was relatively clean. And the dish was delicious. Thanks Barbara - a lesson learned (though one I'm not sure I can always follow).

To give you an idea of how I make macaroni & cheese just know that it includes the use of 4 pans, three measuring cups, cutting board. And misc. cooking tools.

Here's what I do: boil water for pasta. Chop onion. Cook bacon to be mixed into dish. Shred cheese (I use Cheddar and pepper jack). Drain pasta and in the pasta pot melt butter. Cook onion in butter then add flour for roux. Add cumin and coriander, salt and pepper. Add milk in a stream and mix with whisk. Let mixture boil. Add cheese. Add pasta. Mix in bacon. Then, butter a large casserole pan, add pasta mixture to pan. Let set. Melt butter and add breadcrumbs - I like panko. Then top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake in oven 1/2 hour or until crispy on top.

Let me know if you want the recipe. But clean up as you go along.

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