EVEN MY DOG HATES KRAFT! I painted the evil face on it (because it’s evil), and put it in his bed to take his picture with it, and he actually GOT OUT OF HIS BED and looked concerned about it. And this is coming from a dog who actively hides onion peels and napkins in his bed if I’m not looking and they fall on the floor. Let’s all ignore the fact that I bought a box of food just to deface it, okay? Maybe I’ll donate it. Maybe I’ll save it in case someone’s errant child is at my house (why would this happen?) and demands processed food. I’m certainly not going to eat it. But here’s what’s important:
I bought a BLOWTORCH. It’s amazing. The box from WS said “Creme Brulee Torch,” but that sounds like it’s for wussies, so I’m calling it a blowtorch. You’ll note that I use it for things that I don’t need to use it for over the next few weeks. It’s kind of like how you have absurd amounts of sex during a new relationship. Only better. Because it’s a BLOWTORCH.
Now, back to the Mac N Cheese challenge. I was totally going to go with a fondue-inspired recipe, but all my plans went to scheisse when I saw these frank-ly beautiful brats at the market. I picked up a loaf of fresh pumpernickel, some sharp cheddar and Swiss fontina, and little, baby penne (Barilla has a new line of adorable teensy pastas, which are great except they are calorically denser per cup). Oh, and the tart granny smith apples jumped into my cart as an afterthought, which was fortuitous.
I lined buttered french onion soup bowls with flattened slices of pumpernickel, made a bechamel and added shredded cheeses, grainy, brown mustard, granulated garlic, and some fresh nutmeg, and mixed the cheese sauce with the penne-lets. The bratwurst and apples got cubed and thrown in the mix as well, because every party needs some sausage. I toasted some pumpernickel breadcrumbs in browned butter, smooshed them into the bottom of the ramekins, and filled the bowls with goodness. A quick topping of cheese and they went into the oven to set.
After we pulled them out and unmolded them onto the plate, we threw some extra shredded cheese on top and set it on fire with the BLOWTORCH. This was, by FAR, the best Mac N Cheese I’ve ever eaten. Ever. It was unreal. So good that Chris went back and had seconds at 11:30 pm, and those of you who know Chris know that he doesn’t eat after dinner ever, unless I bully dessert on him. I may or may not have also had seconds…I should go upstairs and run some more.