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Hedonistic Macaroni and Cheese

2009/10/19

There’s no doubt about it – I’m definitely a spring and summer kind of person. Unfortunately the weather has been quite cool as of late. I’m quite displeased with that. So much so, that on numerous occasions I have stated that I would gladly trade Christmas and New Years for a “fast-forward” button to get me to April. The Fall, however, does make me crave comfort foods. This past Saturday was time for just that. A friend popped around and actually made supper for me! It was a nice surprise.

What was on the menu? Macaroni and cheese! And not the stuff from a box with powdered neon-orange “cheese.” The real stuff. Bechamel. Lots of cheese. Baked. Tasty. Two-year aged cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontina and a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot were added to bechamel and mixed together with cooked rigatoncini. Once turned out to a baking dish, the rigatoncini was topped with more cheese and sprinkled with panko mixed together with melted butter (so it would crisp up more in the oven). Baked at 400F until the cheese was melted and bubbling and the panko was well-browned and crispy, the aromas coming from the oven were fantastic.

Baked macaroni and cheese, 1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Grand Cru Chouilly

Baked macaroni and cheese, 1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Grand Cru Chouilly

It was excellent. Best macaroni and cheese I’ve had for some time. What to pair with dinner though? Once I found out what was on the menu, there was no question. Champagne! No, not Prosecco or Franciacorta, or Cava, or any other sparkling wine. The real stuff. The stuff with a capital “C.” Champagne. The 1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Grand Cru Chouilly was just the ticket. A Blanc de Blancs Champagne from Chouilly, the richness and complexity of the wine was fantastic. Excellent texture from a fine mousse and zippy acidity cut right through the bechamel and cleansed the palate. I’ve always enjoyed the wines from Feuillatte but this bottle was outstanding. I wish I had more.

  • 1997 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Grand Cru Chouilly – France, Champagne, Chouilly, Champagne (10/17/2009)
    Medium-gold colour with green tinges. Very fine beads in the glass. Aromas of vanilla, pear, hazelnut, marzipan, and freshly grated ginger. Full bodied, rich, with gorgeous texture. On the palate, the wine shows ginger snaps, green apple, vanilla, hazelnut, and a hint of coffee. Moderate-long finish, ~40-45s, with more ginger and pear notes. An excellent, almost stunning bottle of Champagne that is really drinking well right now. Something to drink while waiting for the 1996 Grand Cru offerings from Feuillatte to cellar further. I really wish I had more! (93 pts.)
Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle

Most people would have been satisfied with the main course and Champagne. Not me. A little dessert was in order. It’s always nice to have ingredients on hand to whip something up, so I made the same chocolate souffle from September’s Wine Guy Weekend. Proper ramekins meant that the souffle rose in a more traditional manner. I probably should have wiped the ramekins after they came out of the oven but I was too focused on eating. Anyway, fantastic stuff – and the leftovers were re-baked the next morning for breakfast. Surprisingly, they baked right back up to the original height! A little less molten in the middle, but a great pairing with cappuccino.

So a question for the readers out there. What food does Fall weather make you crave?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 2009/10/20 10:50 PM

    Tater tots. Am I allowed to say that on this blog?

    Slow-roasted pork, braised beef. Risotto and other comfortingly substantial dishes.

    This meal looks like the perfect antidote to cold, wet weather. Yumm.

    • futronic permalink*
      2009/10/22 1:48 PM

      You can definitely say that Kathryn.

      The weather has turned again here – this time for the warmer! I hope it stays that way for at least the weekend because that means some barbequing is in order! That said, I do grill all winter.

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