This weekend I did a lot of cooking.
On friday, I made really good macaroni and cheese. This recipe is artery-clogging, heart-stoppingly good. You make a bechamel sauce and melt cheese into it. Then you mix that with the pasta, and you layer it with more cheese. Then you pour heavy cream over it, and top it with buttered breadcrumbs. This time I added some Niman Ranch ham, cubed up. I can't believe I'm alive to write about it. It was great.
On Saturday night, I tried a new recipe from the Times for roast chicken. Now, in general, I don't branch out with roast chicken. I use Marcella Hazan's recipe for chicken with two lemons and to me, there is no improvement. But this one sounded interesting. You stuff the chicken with a whole head of garlic, lemon, herbs, etc, but the thing that drew me to the recipe is you roast the chicken over slices of stale bread drizzled with olive oil. So in theory, the bread gets crispy, and absorbs all the chicken juices. I loved this idea. Unfortunately, all the bread that wasn't covered by the chicken burned to inedible crisps. However, to give credit to the Times' Melissa Clarke, the bread that under the chicken was some of the most delicious crispy, chewy, croutony goodness I've ever had. Note to self: email Melissa Clarke.
To go with the chicken, I made creamy grits, and slow-cooked collard greens and swiss chard.
Last night I roasted up a pork loin with sage. I still had a lot of veggies to use up still from last week's produce box. So I roasted up carrots, potatoes, beets and fennel. Then I sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and a squeeze of lemon, and flash-cooked up the tiniest, cutest white mushrooms in olive oil, butter, and parsley over high heat.
I should start taking pictures of my food. I'm not really a good photographer though. It seems, from the food blogs I've looked at, you need to get real close to the food. Otherwise it just doesn't look that good.
One hour until mac 'n' cheese leftovers for lunch!