“It is good to know that out there, in a forest in the world, there is a cabin where something is possible, something fairly close to the sheer happiness of being alive.”
I’m listening to Each Coming Night by Iron & Wine as I write. It’s been a while since I’ve packed a weekend bag and headed into the mountains to spend a few days at a cabin or to camp next to a lake. Crisp mornings waking to the flutter of raven’s wings overhead or the faint splash of a trout catching a breakfast dragonfly.
We’re deep in July and long hot days are appreciated but when the sun sets and the breeze cools, I find my energy; I’m happy. Tonight I was craving some real comfort food. The kind you can eat around a campfire while the sun sets behind the tree line . What’s your idea of comfort food? for me it will always involve pasta and this recipe is ooey gooey cheese-y delicious buttery goodness. I can’t imagine anything cozier.
So just for today, I’m going to pretend I’m deep in the Cariboo region of British Columbia at the most idyllic cabin, surrounded by Autumn foliage and a crackling wood fire. There’s also a bottle of Prosecco chilling in the imaginary fridge to serve with dinner.
CABIN FOOD: DECADENT MAC N CHEESE
You will need:
2 cups of Macaroni pasta
Olive oil (about 2 Tblsp)
4 -5 slices of thick bacon or cooked lobster or crab meat (optional)
3 cups of milk
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of grated white cheddar (or parmesan)
2 cups of grated Gruyere (reserve a bit to sprinkle over top)
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper (or black)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Step 2: Cook the macaroni in salty water, drain and toss with the olive oil and set aside in a large bowl
Step 3: Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and saute over medum high heat until brown (not crisp). -If you’re using cooked crab or lobster, add it to the pasta in the bowl and go to step 4. – Add bacon to pasta in bowl.
Step 4: In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat then add in the flour and whisk continuing to stir while you slowly add the milk. Continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken.
Step 5: Add both the cheeses (remember to leave a bit to sprinkle over top) followed by the salt, pepper, garlic powder and nutmeg. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Step 6: Taste for salt and add more if you feel you need to. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and mix in.
Step 7: Butter a pan or separate/individual cast iron pans and add the macaroni to the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the macaroni from the oven, sprinkle with the leftover gruyere and put it back until the cheese is golden and bubbly. You can speed this up by setting the oven to broil for about 3 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Serve in bowls and enjoy! Careful not to burn your tongue.. it’ll be hot.
Because I’m not at a remote cabin, I’ll enjoy my meal while watching something wholesome like Gilmore Girls, Kiki’s Delivery Service or Sense & Sensibility.
Happy Summer Friends. Thank you for joining me today.
Until Next time.