I love snowy days here in Denver, Colorado. Unlike the Northeast, where snow is a harbinger of cold things to come and you really don't thaw out till mid-March, the snow here will likely melt in a day or two and then temperatures will go back to 50 degrees. The sun will be out shining until the next snow fall. There aren't huge berms of snow (like the 4 foot mound that stayed on my old corner in Brooklyn for months) and you never get to know just how many dogs actually live on your block (know what I'm talking about?). Here, the strong sun and high altitude causes the snow to melt, seemingly without any puddles. Evaporation is a powerful force of nature around these parts.
So today, the morning after it snowed about 6 inches, I took the boys out for a little morning ride in our new (pink) sled. One man who was shoveling his walkway shouted, "looks like she's having one helluva time." By 'she' the man meant Otis, so I explained that pink was the only color sled left in the store. Otis loved it. Theo, not as much...
We live in the Highlands section of Denver, at least for the time being. The neighborhood has an awesomely quirky housing stock and an eclectic collection of architectural styles- everything from American Craftsman and bungalows to hyper-modern pre-fabricated design. It's fun to walk around because there are so many great details everywhere you look.
We were outside for about an hour and a half and then I started getting hungry. I mean it's a real workout carrying a 14 pound infant in a sling and pulling a 28 pound toddler. So we turned around and headed home.
Knowing full well that a salad or 'something light' just wouldn't cut it on a day like today, I decided that I had to make either: a stew, a hearty minestrone soup or some macaroni and cheese. I went with option number three. I thought about my favorite mac-n-cheese from Martha Stewart, but I wanted to try a different recipe. I had one for DuMont's Dumac and Cheese (by way of The New Brooklyn Cookbook)...and I conveniently had Gruyére and heavy cream in the house.
It seemed so appropriate that I make this Dumont dish today because tonight one of our closest friends is having her Supper Club debut in Brooklyn! So shout out to Kathyrn of Cooking Inside the Box and Whiskey & Salt Supper Club. We'll be thinking of you. Good luck. xo
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About this Mac-and-Cheese:
"No truffle oil, no weird stuff. Make a good sauce, buy good cheese. That's it."
- Polo Dobkin, Dumont
DuMac and Cheese (Courtesy of The New Brooklyn Cookbook)Serves 6
• 1 pound radiatore, elbow macaroni, or fusilli
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 pound Gruyère, grated, divided
• 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar, grated, divided
• Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper• 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, toss with the olive oil in a large bowl, and set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a gentle simmer.
4. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until the flour is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue mixing with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a pale golden color, about 4 minutes. Slowly add the hot milk and cream mixture to the flour mixture, whisking constantly to incorporate. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture from burning. Add half the Gruyère and half the cheddar and whisk until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add the cooked pasta and toss well to combine. Pour the pasta into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish or a 3-quart gratin dish. Top with the remaining Gruyère and cheddar and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Allow the mac and cheese to rest for 5 minutes before serving.