I saw my grade then looked back on my essay today. The teacher's mark was correct. The essay was full of ideas and sentences and words that were too complex. They didn't make sense. I had tried too hard to come up with brilliant ideas. I should've just kept it simple. I feel like Marcel from season two of top chef, or the Paul Liebrant of a few years ago, or any chef who has tried too hard to create great food. The answer lies in simplicity.That is why for this blog post, I've kept it simple; no big sentences, no big words, nothing about fancy frou frou French food. I leave you with a simple dish that anyone can relate to, and that is probably the best way to comfort you after a poor English grade.
Alton Brown's Macaroni and Cheese
12 oz English Cheddar
2 cups elbow macaroni
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
1 Tbs dry mustard
1 Tbs paprika
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 bay leaf
3 cups whole milk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
additional 1/4 cup butter
preheat oven to 350
1)Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until al dente (about 6 minutes)
2) Cook 3 tbs butter over medium heat until bubbling subsides.
3)Whisk in 3 tbs flour and let cook for about 3 minutes to achieve a nice blond color.
4) Whisk in mustard powder, paprika, onions, bay leaf and 1 tsp salt.
5) Slowly whisk in the 3 cups of milk.
6) Continue whisking and bring liquid to a simmer to thicken, then remove from heat.
7) Beat an egg in a separate bowl.
8) Temper the egg by adding a few tbs of the sauce to the bowl with the egg while whisking quickly.
9)Whisking quickly, add the egg mixture back into the original sauce.
10) Whisk in about 3/4 of the cheese, then add the noodles.
11) Place the whole mixture in a round corning ware.
12) Melt the addition 1/4 cup butter then mix with the panko.
13) Add this panko mixture and the remaining cheese to the top
14) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
If you are feeling extra decadent, let the macaroni and cheese thicken overnight, break it into pieces the size of a card deck (no need to be exact), dredge it in flour then egg, then more panko, then deep fry these slabs in 375 degree oil for a few minutes until golden brown and crispy.