Thursday, June 10, 2010

This ain't no Easy Mac

Childhood classic for the sophisticated palate.

So I just spent a good $30.09 on cheese. My previous belief that there were 2 types of cheeses- Kraft Singles or Cheese Sauce (or as the Mexicanos se llaman- Queso) was abruptly shattered when I approached the Gourmet Cheese section of HEB.

It was an international consortium of the most astounding array of colors, shapes, textures and unpronouncable names I had ever seen. Piora from Switzerland, Ackawi from the Middle East, Cornish Pepper from England- milk of goats, cows, sheep- ay ay ay! As a cheese novice, the possibilities seemed overwhelming.

The four such cheeses I was in search of for my home-made mac and cheese: Italian Fontina, Gruyere, Extra-Sharp White Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano took me a while to collect (and an arm and leg to buy), but I was determined to make this mac and cheese exactly the way Martha Stewart prescibed. If its good enough for her, than it dang well be good enough for me.

Not knowing much about these cheeses I had just purchased, I decided to look them up on the interwebs.
Yes. It's a real thing. Everything you EVER need to know about cheese- right here.
So here's about what I got from skimming (in case you don't feel like browsing thru cheese cyber-space):

Gruyere- a Swiss village, traditional (aka wears clunky wooden shoes), made from cow milk, creamy, semi-soft, nutty
Italian Fontina- from Italy (dur), dense, smooth, elastic (not sure how I feel about this description being used to describe foodstuffs), flavor- hint of honey (which reminds me- more food distraction)
Parmigiano-Reggiano- Italy again, cows milk, hard, use a saw, grating, chunks, rind.. (appetizing diction no?)
Extra-Sharp White Cheddar- ah good. I recognize cheddar. Now just get the pointy, Caucasian version.

I was going to type out the directions. But why do that when someone already did that for me?

** NOTE- for some reason the cheese that the recipe above calls for is slightly different. For some reason the recipes online are nowhere near as deep in flavor, nor so highly sophisticated as this classy combo- (So do this instead)
2 oz Fontina (grated 1/2 cup)
3 oz Gruyere (grated 1 cup, 1/2 c reserved for topping)
6 oz Extra-Sharp White Cheddar (grated 2 c, 1/2 c reserved)
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated 1 c, 1/2 c reserved)

Now you're good to go.
Saaayyyy CHEESE!

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