Thursday, January 7, 2010

When the Going Gets Tough...

...the tough hide in the kitchen. An old school Winter has announced it's presence with authority here in the Midwest. I fear for my sage plant, Old Faithful. She's survived 3 previous winters only to come back each spring with bright green leaves. Spring, however, is still months away and Old Faithful and I have a whole lot of snow to deal with.I decided the best way to deal with the snow was to channel my friend Susan (29 Black Street). You see Susan lives in Nova Scotia. Dealing with long cold winters is more her thing and since she was kind enough to send me some of Nova Scotia's finest artisanal blue cheese (Dragon's Breath), I decided it was time to put it to good use. Now I could have just nibbled it with a good crusty bread. Despite it's name it's not an overly sharp blue. I toyed with making blue cheese deviled eggs but what I really wanted was something warm and comforting. Something simple and quick. Macaroni and Blue Cheese was what I was craving.If you'd like a recipe, you could use this one from Epicurious. I used a nice mild cheddar to pair up with my creamy tangy blue cheese. You don't want to go too sharp on the cheddar and you don't want to use an even milder American cheese or the blue will overpower the whole dish. No, you're looking for the Ying/Yang balance. I punted on the chives instead decided on using Panko breadcrumbs mixed with chopped bacon as my crispy topping.
This is exactly what I needed. Warm and comforting yet fun with the wonderful depth that the Dragon's Breath brings to the pasta. Serving it up with a big pile of Kale and Cranberries made my hibernation process just a little more pleasant.

17 comments:

Making Space said...

Oh. My. God.

Making Space said...

My daughter says "ooooooo yum yum yum"

Dani said...

Oh man, that sounds wonderful!

If Old Faithful doesn't make it, we'll root up a cutting off the Son and send it back to you. :) He's been very happy here in Florida.:)

Susan said...

Yummmmmmmmy. That ! looks delicious. When you come to Nova Scotia for a visit I'll take you to this famous (round these parts) flying Dutchman cheese shop (home of said breath of the Dragon blue cheese) high up on a hill overlooking the spectacular Bay of Fundy (world's highest tides)
xo S & les Gang

Buzz Kill said...

I think you just posted your DSS entry. That last picture is serious pornography.

I'm a little concerned about the sage inbreeding you and Dani have going on. I see some kind of mutated uber-Sage coming out of this experiment that will do nasty things to poultry. Just saying...

Making Space said...

Buzz made me snort

Dani said...

Lol. We would be lost without Buzz.

Big Shamu said...

Buzz are you saying that we're creating a Frankensage Monster?



SWEET!

Don't worry about Dim Sum (not this Sunday but the next) Buzz, I got plans for that one too.


A Culinary Trip to Nova Scotia would be excellent Susan, as long as it's during Lobster season. Thanks again so much for the cheese it is SO good.

Dani I'd like to be visiting Son of Sage right about now.

MS, how do the girls feel about stinky cheese? Have they acquired the taste yet or does it fall into the Yucky category?

Dani said...

Frankensage Monster!!!!!! I love it!


p.s. I love your planting tubs too. I bet they're so pretty with all your herbs growing in them.

Big Shamu said...

You know Dani, the herb tubs are ever evolving to the potential needs of my cooking. I have in ground spots for mint and oregano but the pots for more interesting herbs. I have a bay leaf plant that comes in for the winter and a big pot of lavender that survived my black thumb so it made it inside also. I did parsley, basil and cilantro this past spring. Cilantro didn't do so well but the basil and parsley did great so they will be replanted in the spring not to mention any sort of edible flowers I can find and plant.

Boxer said...

hmmmmmmm. Mac and Cheese. I made some last weekend, and wish I had your tips regarding cheese before I started. Guess I need to make some more.

Buzz is right. That last shot? I hope you're sending that to Gawker.

Big Shamu said...

Thanks Boxer and no, as much I like that pict it's not a Gawker style picture.

Aunty Belle said...

moan!

I'd east a washtub full 'o that stuff!

Bundle up Shamy! We's gonna be in the 30s down heah--cain't imagine how cold ya must be.

Making Space said...

The girls will eat sharp cheddar, but not the really stinky stuff. 'salright, adding crumbled bacon is probably plenty of little-kid nirvana at this point. Heh.

Kathie said...

Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe my mod will be using up some bacon jam ala Homesick Texan in place of the bits. Good luck with Old Faithful!

LaDivaCucina said...

Ok, this new STRETCH photo thang you are doing with the mac n cheese n pasta n cream n bacon n cheese n breadcrumbs n cheese n cheese n cheese...um, what was I saying? The photos are freakin' fabulous and I want to dive nose first into the lovely handpainted blue dish of Nova Scotian cheesy pasta love!!!

Ahem.

Now. I find that cilantro (or coriander) always bolts to seed too quickly and it's better and easier to just buy the darn stuff.

I don't miss those winters AT ALL even when people around me down here say the snow is "so pretty" and "I miss it." I will still slap a bitch.

moi said...

Got all the ingredients to make this tonight. Sweet!

The only herb I can grow with success is lavender. The stuff loves me, loves my soil, loves the dogs' pee, you name it. The battle tank of all herbs and I don't like the flavor. Sniff. I do have good luck with parsley, which over winters fine and come back the second year, then bolts the third. My chive plant is three years old now and still at it. But what I really want is a couple of those mondo basil plants all my friends seem to be able to cultivate. Instead, I get nothing but spindly, woody little things off of which I can harvest a leaf or two a week. I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong with the stuff.