Pick of the Crop by Jennifer Stamper is a great Canadian cookbook inspired by our public markets. It is divided into four sections by season.
And typical of our winters, the recipe I chose tonight did not include any crops - a classic macaroni & cheese. But it turned out perfect and I am sure Jennifer wouldn't mind me sharing it.
Few warnings though...
1. It is significantly high in cholesterol
Make a white sauce with 3 Tbs butter, 1/2 cup flour and 5 cups milk. Butter the baking dish as well.
When sauce is ready, add to it 3.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese and 1.5 cups gruyere cheese (I cut this to a total of 3 cups and it was still cheesy enough). Add pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne peppers.
2. It can become messy if you are making it in a hurry.
Cook 500 g elbow macaroni - don't overcook them.
Stir the macaroni in the cheese sauce, add to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with another 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup gruyere cheese.
Bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes.
3. It is delicious, this is not the day for dieting.
It turned out perfect. It comes out of the oven bubbling, but settles down nicely so let it rest before digging in.
Nothing stuck to the baking dish, the texture was like a fancy restaurant production and it sure beats the plastic-based packaged macaroni and cheese.
To add some crops to the dinner, I found this marbled tomato at Urban Fair, so I wanted to try it.
It is nothing to rave about when it comes to taste, but it worked as a perfect base for a salad of tomato, Ackawi Cheese, dried mint, a sprinkle of olive oil and white vinegar.
Apparently the taste reminds eaters of Turkish salads. Well, if you had feta cheese, it would be very close to a Greek salad, but let's not get political here now and remind all followers that this is really not a Turkish salad since Ackawi Cheese is native to Palestine.
Dinner was thoroughly enjoyed with salad and garlic bread with lots of leftovers for the freezer.