Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bad - Mac and cheese with bacon, truffle oil and orange essence. Good - Orzo with ham and goat cheese.

So lets say that you are out and about on Saturday and happen to stop in at The Cookbook Company, a store you love that sells great books, food and equipment. Let's say that they are selling frozen mac and cheese (in their packaging, they have made it) with bacon, truffle oil and orange essence. Your husband is so excited by the description and adds it to your basket.
We'll skip the part when you tried (unsuccessfully) to get baking instructions from the owner of the store. The mac and cheese goes home with you and Sunday night, very tired from a day of working in the yard, you throw it in the oven.
Wow. After a hard day's work, there is nothing like a big bowl of pasta that tastes like it has been soaked in orange juice.
This was beyond bad. This was inedible. The only thing you could taste was orange. The cheese (in the macaroni and cheese!) had no flavor. The bacon was made up of hard overcooked bits and fat. There was no hint of truffle. It was orange-flavored noodles.
Mmmmm...Sandwiches for dinner.
Next time you are in the mood for mac and cheese, try this recipe instead. It is quick and very tasty. AND you won't have wasted your precious gas to drive downtown to buy sludge!

From Gourmet magazine:

Orzo with Ham and Goat Cheese

1 lb orzo
1/2 lb ham, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb soft goat cheese crumbled
5 green onions

Cook orzo until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the water. Mix the orzo, ham, cheese, onions, salt and pepper to taste, and add the reserved water to your liking. Toss until the cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

** The magazine says to broil it until the top is golden, but we never do that.

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