Well, since we haven't had any new critters show up since the bat, it's been kind of dull around here. Unless, I guess, you count the small winter wren that has been flitting about cleaning up all the summer spiders. So here it is Wednesday and nothing new to report really. In light of that, the Goatmother thought I ought to post a recipe. Naturally, I wanted one with Peanuts, but she said that no one would be interested in a recipe with Peanuts. Imagine that. Nah, the Goatmother has to be wrong about that. At any rate, here's what we came up with.
This recipe is for Macaroni and Cheese, but it isn't just any old Mac 'N' Cheese. Nope. This one has some kick to it. Just the right kind of thing to wake one up from any kind of slump they've been harboring. The Goatmother and the Goatfather took two recipes and came up with their own version. So without further adieu:
Marigold's Mac 'N' Cheese
(Okay. It is my blog. I had to get in the act somewhere.)
8 oz. Cavatappi, Macaroni or other tube-shaped pasta.( The Cavatappi looks cool, in my opinion. Kind of like adding little pig tails. I'm just sayin' ....)
1/2 tsp. coarse salt, plus more for cooking the pasta (Yum. If you are cooking for your goats, they will probably just eat the pasta without salt. Probably without even cooking.)
8 oz. of assorted mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in 1 or 2 Tbsp. olive oil (Mushrooms. Oy. I ate one once and it was not a good thing. Still the Goatmother and the Goatfather seem to like them. Maybe I had one of those psycho-relic ones.)
3 1/2 Tbsp. butter (Look out, Paula Dean!)
1/2 C. finely chopped shallots
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C. dry white wine (Do try to put at least some of it in the mac 'n' cheese. Wine. It's not just for breakfast. I wonder if there is a Peanut-flavored wine out there?)
2/3 C. heavy whipping cream (If you do not like the sound of your arteries hardening, turn up the CD player.)
7 oz. Gruyere, grated (It isn't goat cheese, but it's pretty good nonetheless)
3 oz. aged Gouda, grated (I'm not sure where this one comes from. I've never seen a Gouda, have you?)
2 Tbsp. minced fresh Chives (or Alfalfa if you prefer. Just kidding.)
1 Chipotle in Adobo sauce, chopped (~ 1 Tbsp. with Chipotle and sauce) (Oyle, y'all! This is what really makes this different!)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (This is mustard that has received a 'Di' Jon' letter and is obviously very sad, but still tastes good.)
1/8 tsp. freshly ground Nutmeg (Please do note that though this says it is a nut, it sure doesn't taste like a nut. I'm just sayin' ... )
1/2 C. bread crumbs or Panko (Do not let those stupid ducks near this or you won't have any for the recipe.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender to the bite. (Hopefully it won't bite back.) This will take approximately 7 to 12 minutes (So you will have time to hand a few Peanuts to any nearby goats.) Drain the pasta, but don't rinse. (This sounds kind of unhygienic to me, but it makes stuff stick to the pasta better,. It must be like dirt and soap if you don't rinse off after you bathe.)
2. In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter (or you can use Olive oil if you are being health-conscious. Me, I'd use Peanut oil.) Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook until the shallots are light golden in color and the mushrooms are soft. Sprinkle the shallot-mushroom mixture with flour, and cook, stirring often, around 1 minute. Add wine and stir, picking up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and stir well. Sprinkle in the cheeses, one large handful at a time, stirring until each handful is mostly melted before adding the next. Stir in 2 Tbsp. chives, the Chipotle in Adobo, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt (Okay. this salt is optional, just in case you are not a saltaholic), and nutmeg. Stir cooked pasta into cheese mixture, then pour all into a 2 qt. baking dish. (You can grease the baking dish before hand, or spray it with a little cooking spray, unless, of course, you like to do dishes and are breathlessly waiting for the moment it is all gone and you can scrub to your heart's content.)
3. Sprinkle bread crumbs or Panko over the casserole, dry, ( if you are boycotting calories), or sprinkle and dot with the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. of butter. (I can hear Paula cheering now!). Bake until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling. This will be approximately 15 to 20 minutes. (Oh. Now you really have time to hand out some Peanuts).
By now you are probably asking yourself, 'Marigold, what in the hay happened to the Words of Wisdom? Well, my friends, I have not forgotten. Wednesday's Words of Wisdom are this: If you don't have anything to say, talk about food. Everyone pays attention to food. Hay! It's food for thought, huh?