I thought it might be fun today if I gave you a little look into my thought process for coming up with ideas for the blog.
So here’s the deal, I think about food – oh, let’s say 85% percent of the time – hmmm. . scratch that, maybe 90%. The rest is basically, husband, pug(s), work related, family, friends, the fact that I’m cold (come to my office) or that I’d really like to take a nap. There might be some other things going on in my head too, but I can’t think about it right now because I’m thinking about food.
It’s a problem, my husband gives me a hard time because I don’t keep up enough with news websites anymore, unless you count Gothamist.
Right so back to my process, I have to
write, ahem, I mean note everything down. My Google calendar is a mess. I keep track of everything on there. When I might want to post stuff, or future ideas for recipes and things are constantly being shifted around.
So where do the ideas come from? Sometimes I get a craving and think, I haven’t made that in awhile AND I haven’t blogged about it. Down it goes. “Ooh, that would be a good twist on a classic, let’s do it.” Then of course, an item becomes seasonal and that’s all I want to eat, so you get the multiple days in a row of just that ingredient.
I also subscribe to about 4 cooking magazines, not to mention all the blogs I read on a daily basis. Like I said 90% of my time.
Now this recipe, I’ve been making plain old smoked gouda mac and cheese for years and then one day when I had some kale sitting in the fridge I thought, I’m going to add it to mac and cheese! Boom. Done. Here’s your recipe!
- 1 16oz box gemelli pasta
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 5 oz baby kale
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 8 oz smoked gouda, shredded
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar, shredded
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- a few turns of freshly grated black pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs and additional butter to top
- Bring a large stockpot filled with salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the packages directions (subtracting about 2 minutes, as to not overcook the pasta later). Drain and set aside.
- Over medium heat, drizzle a little olive oil and sauté the onions until soft and lightly caramelized, stirring often, making sure they don't burn - about 15 minutes. Add the baby kale and cook until wilted about an additional five minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, in a medium-sized pot melt the butter over low heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Whisk the roux for at least a minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
- While whisking, slowly pour in half your milk into the roux, once there are no lumps remaining, add the remaining milk and heavy cream. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the béchamel has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. Whisk in the cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.
- Turn off the heat and in batches, stir in the cheese until completely melted. Add the onion/kale mixture and finally stir in the cooked pasta.
- Pour the mac and cheese into a 13X9 buttered dish and top with panko breadcrumbs and dot with pieces of unsalted butter.
- Place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes until set.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.