Thursday, February 20, 2014

Avocado Mac 'n Cheese

Avocado Mac 'n Cheese, originally uploaded by michele wynne.
"The only reason I work out is so I can eat more cheese". That's Ricky Gervais's quote from "back of the napkin" in the current Bon Appetit. I love that. I shall steal it. Except I don't work out. Anyway, I'm obsessing with cheese right now, taking advantage of my awesome workplace and the expertise I have access to everyday. I want to learn more about cheese. So here's what's been going down in the little kitchen.
You may not know this but, I love love love avocados and clearly, mac & cheese, but I have to say that I was initially not so keen on the idea of this combination on my initial pass through the pages of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese and had the photo I present here been any part of that page I would have slammed the book shut in horror. My cheesy little cell phone cam does not do this dish justice. The photographs in Melt are stunning and the recipe for Beecher's Flagship Cheddar with Avocado, Lime, and Shell Pasta suddenly sang to me when I spied the little pile of imperfect avocado swag at the market the other day, I then headed over to the cheese counter to get the skinny on the Beecher's.
Beecher's Handmade Cheeses come out of Seattle's Pike Place Market. The space houses the fromagerie (the cheese making facility), a cafe, and a retail space. Sounds pretty cool. The Beecher's Flagship is a moist, semi-hard white cheese, sort of a hybrid of cheddar and gruyere. Beecher's doesn't actually call it a cheddar as it uses cultures that aren't normally introduced into cheddars. It's not as tangy as a cheddar, it's a nuttier, mellower deal and that's just fine.  At my market we carry Beecher's Flagship Reserve, which is a dryer, more concentrated version of the Flagship. It took a little nudge to get it to melt than had I used the moister cheese, but when all was said and done, it was a hit and I will be planning my next mac 'n cheese tutorial.

A couple of notes:

This dish is ideally meant for immediate and total consumption due to it's avocado-ey tendency to turn grey by the next day. That's the only leftover down-side but if you give it a little stir, it's fine. I splashed a tiny bit of water in the bowl and covered it tightly with plastic wrap, pierced it with a fork and microwaved for a minute, just taking the chill off and slightly warming it.

The cheese measurements in the book are by the ounce. When purchasing cheeses from specialty stores the pre-wrapped cuts are labeled by fractions of a pound. This confused me 'cuz  I'm mathematically challenged, so it was helpful to make myself this:

2 ounces = .125 of a pound
3 ounces =  .1875 of a pound
4 ounces = .25 of a pound
5 ounces = .3125 of a pound
6 ounces = .375 of a pound
7 ounces = .4375 of a pound
8 ounces = .50 of a pound
9 ounces = .5625 of a pound
10 ounces = .625 of a pound
11 ounces = .6875 of a pound
12 ounces = .75 of a pound
13 ounces = .8125 of a pound
14 ounces = .875 of a  pound
15 ounces = .9375 of a pound

This is more of a way to figure out the cost more than anything. I get my cheesemonger to cut it and do the math.

Note to self: Bike the long way home.

Next up: Point Reyes Original Blue with Pecans, Figs (or dates) and Shell Pasta

No comments:

Post a Comment