Anyway, enough of that. Here are some pictures of fall in Virginia this year.
I realize this one is a little Bigfoot-sighting-esque. But it's the first time I've ever seen a (live) fox in the wild and thought it bore magnification.
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp parsley
~1/2 lb salmon fillets
3 medium carrots
2 medium stalks celery
2 medium potatoes
1/4 cup butter or lard
1/4 cup flour
1 cup frozen, fresh, or canned corn
4 cups of whole milk
2-3 Tbsp salt
Sprinkling of cracked pepper
Heat oven to 450. Drizzle the melted butter in a 9x9 or similar pan that the salmon will fit in. Sprinkle herbs on top. Place salmon, skin side up, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another side or until salmon is flaky and opaque. Peel off skin, flake salmon, and set aside.
Melt the 1/4 cup butter or lard over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables, saute 5 minutes or until lightly cooked. Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated and flour is lightly cooked. Add milk and simmer until thickened, 10-15 minutes. Stir in salmon, corn salt, and pepper, and simmer until vegetables are soft.
...a mac and cheese recipe that is SO GOOD! We are huge fans of the creamy Wisconsin Mac 'n Cheese from Noodles & Company, and this is a lot like it. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen and basically halved it (with some rounding here and there) since the original recipe serves 12 and calls for more cheese than even we usually have around. I have also found you can reduce the amount of cheese in the sauce by about a handful, and increase the salt a little, and it will be just fine.
This is one of "those" M&C recipes people love to complain about--those which Involve a White Sauce. Making a white sauce is one of those things that personally I think takes longer to complain about than it does to DO. Just do it already! If you're not comfortable a flour-and-fat roux--the base for every gravy, white sauce, cream soup, pot pie filling, and other velvety delight known to the kitchen--it's time to get comfortable. It really couldn't be easier. Video tutorials abound, but basically, just cook the oil in the bubbling fat already. Then stir in your broth or milk or other liquid, bring back to a boil, and whisk together until thick and smooth.
Our butter is expensive, so I use lard.
Martha Stewart’s Creamy Mac-and-CheeseServes 6
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
2-3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-1/4 cups (about 9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Gruyère or 3/4 cups (about 2-3 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese (I actually used about 1/4 cup Parmesan)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. (I use a 9x9 square pan.) Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.
2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (I put it in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Combines a step and saves a dish.) Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1.5 cups cheddar cheese, and Gruyère (or Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.
5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.
I also cook the macaroni first and make the cheese sauce in its pan while it hangs out and drains in the colander. Maybe Martha has somebody to wash all these dishes for her, but I don't.
Anyway, a great make-ahead meal and just all-around delicious!