Friday, November 6, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese Please

On Wednesday while I was typing away on my PC the television drew my attention. The show was Ellen and her guest was writer Jonathan Safran Foer. They were discussing his new book "Eating Animals."

It was a grim interview that described to everybody exactly what we meat eaters do not want to hear. Jonathan told the tale of the hidden factory farming of animals that provides all of that cheap meat at the supermarket. Beyond the cruelty to the animals themselves he said the external costs to our environment and our own health is incalculable.

He also revealed some rather ominous information regarding the secrecy that surrounds factory farming. He was unable, despite unremitting attempts, to get a tour of a single farm where this kind of animal raising occurred. Were you aware that swine flu originated in North Carolina on one of these factory farms? This is common knowledge among people in the know so you have to wonder why and how the press never seemed to think this was information Americans might be interested in. This is a highly secret and protected industry.

He also talked about, God help us, Thanksgiving. He gave the audience a nice visual of the pathetic and disgusting way your average supermarket turkey is raised and then asked us "if this was anything to be thankful for?" Thanks, buddy.

The fortunate part for me was I already ordered a Heritage turkey from Crown S Ranch in the Methow Valley. At $6.95 a pound it's priced like illegal drugs but I can get through the big day without feeling like a rat. The unfortunate part is that for the rest of her audience it will be almost impossible at this late date to get a truly organic and farm raised turkey...they should have aired earlier.

Another great thing about that day was I already had a meatless meal planned for the evening. It is never a sacrifice to eat macaroni and cheese and this batch was as tasty as I've ever made. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone.

Jenifer's Macaroni and Cheese

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
10 oz small elbow macaroni
1 cup asiago cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup bread crumbs
healthy drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni until done, drain and set aside.

Melt butter in medium sized saucepan, add flour, salt and pepper to create roux. Slowly add milk while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. When mixture is thickened and just before it boils remove from heat and add 3/4 cup of asiago and 3/4 cup of cheddar to mixture. Stir until cheese melts.

Put drained macaroni in medium sized casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and gently mix together. In separate bowl put remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and stir. Sprinkle mixture on casserole. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Finish casserole under broiler until top is crunchy brown.

No comments: