Ode to Macaroni and Cheese

In the last elimination challenge before the finals in the first season of Top Chef, a panel of judges including some of the most accomplished and discerning chefs in the country chose Dave’s truffle & cognac cream macaroni & cheese, filet of beef, and collard greens & radicchio as the winning dish. The filet and greens were criticized for being “afterthoughts” to the macaroni & cheese, which itself was the favorite dish of all the judges. Why did macaroni and cheese capture the imagination of experienced chefs and critics of high-end cuisine? Continue reading

Crockpot Corned Beef and Veggies– My Way

Because of the sweet-tart liquid used, this doesn't get bitter when cooked a long time, and so has a wonderful taste and texture without a bad aftertaste. I buy corned beef brisket (any cut will do) when it goes on sale for $0.89/lb. around St. Patrick's Day. (I buy a bunch.) Then I put it in the freezer, in the original package. Try to get the one with separate spices, if you can. Just get it out and put it in the fridge about two days before you want to eat it; that should give it time to defrost. I use baby carrots for the carrots; they're about the same price as regular and no prep work involved. Use the big crockpot for this. If you're single and only have a small one, cut the brisket and everything else in half, and do it two days. The core of the cabbage is the tough white part that comes up in the middle where the stem is. Try to make sure the potatoes are approximately the same size, it makes for more even cooking. A complete meal, or serve with fruit, bread, or soup, as desired. :) Continue reading