Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Farmer's Market Feast

The Setting: Blue skies. My favorite!

The Soundtrack: House Hunters International.

On the Stovetop: Brussels Sprouts. Smoked Horseradish Mac 'n' Cheese.

The Scenario: Celebrating our farmer's market finds.

One of our favorite things about the weekend--besides just being together-- is going to the farmer's market.

In South Florida the markets were full of mangoes, lychees, avocados, and fresh seafood.

I was a little dubious that the Midwest farmer's markets could compete.

But the South Bend Farmer's Market (http://southbendfarmersmarket.com/) has already become one of our favorite spots in town.

We always pick up some smoked horseradish cheese and fresh, local produce. Now that the colder weather is upon us, we've added a gallon of local cider to the list.

This trip we found some purple broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts on the stalk, and colorful spicy banana peppers and jalapeños.

Hoosband took charge of the sprouts, while I went to town on some mac 'n' cheese.

The answer to any objection to Brussels sprouts is most definitely bacon, salt, and pepper.

Slice up your sprouts, fry up your bacon, add your sprouts to the rendered nectar of love in the pan, season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and cook till sprouts are tender and shellacked in fragrant vitamin P.

I like to use rotini (corkscrew pasta) for my mac 'n' cheese because the sauce gets trapped in all the twists and turns.

Sometimes I like to get a little sophisticated with it, but tonight my method is simple:

Cook the pasta in heavily salted water.

Drain the pasta and return the pasta to the pot. Add a little butter and a little flour.

Stir till butter is melted and flour is hidden.

Add a little milk. Stir till milk is mostly absorbed. Add a little more.

Continue adding and stirring till the noodles are cloaked in white sauce (very well, bechamel!).

Remove from heat and throw in shredded (or chopped or torn) cheese, stirring till melted (hooray, mornay!).

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

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