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Gratin facile (bien sur)

So simple even a dipsomaniac could make it.

Not terribly artful, but golden and delicious!

Over the course of my life I have met only one person who actively dislikes potato gratin; unfortunately it is my daughter. As a result, I generally reserve this dish for company or special occasions so as to avoid seeing  it pushed away, untouched, with a moue of distaste. Of course it’s a mercy, too, as I could eat the stuff three meals a day, pausing only to check on my order upgrade at the Scooter Store or to mainline yet more Lipitor.

I mean really, it’s potatoes, cream and cheese. What’s not to like?

So as I was saying, over the years I’ve tried lots of different approaches, which have yielded mixed results. In truth there are as many recipes for this as there are cooks. But here’s mine, which is generally foolproof and requires the least amount of work and clean up of any recipe I have tried.

Read the rest of this entry

Happy All Saints Day! Celebrate with my pals Mac & Cheese.

Party over here!

In my house, November first is a day of atonement. After coping with four days of rapidly escalating, sugar-induced psychosis, my family expects something from me by way of recompense. Rightly so. And after mainlining Mars bars for a week, I must admit that it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. Body chemistry is a mysterious thing, however, and it doesn’t always pay to swing too far too fast. In other words, avoid shocking your system with huge amounts of raw vegetables and mung beans and take a day or so to EASE back to more abstemious, healthier habits. It’s all about managing the transition, folks, and for that I rely on the old faithful – not the geyser, but macaroni and cheese.


Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all, let me offer a few crucial tips:

  • Undercook the macaroni before baking or it will be too soft and mushy when you take it out of the oven. So for example, if the box calls for 10 minutes of boiling, only do 6 to 7 minutes. The mac should be less than al dente when you drain it.
  • No orange cheddar cheese. Ever. For anything. The color comes from dye, and no cheese should ever be that color. Here’s the explanation if you’re interested. Read the rest of this entry
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