Sunday, November 16, 2014
16 November 2014
There's no place like home, especially after a hectic week and on a rainy Fall Sunday evening. Last week could not have been busier with client work, City Council and home projects. On Friday, I closed on a refinancing of One Britt, and I couldn't be happier. I spent most of the day catching up on work at the office on Saturday, but we enjoyed a nice evening at The Study with our friends Beth and David Riordan. Today was spent catching up on some home projects, and I finally got around to cooking Sunday Supper.
It's been very cold the past couple of weeks. Combined with the added stresses of a hectic few weeks, comfort food was definitely in order. Back in the late 90's and early 2000's, I spent a lot of time working in New York City. One of my favorite places to stay was the Soho Grand Hotel. I enjoyed the slower pace of the neighborhood, the galleries, restaurants and interesting people in the area. Another reason I loved staying there was for their delicious Mac + Cheese! It was addictive in every way with the right combination of cheese, crispy top and perfect al dente pasta. I ordered it every time I was there. Years later, I thought about that wonderful dish on many occasions, and I have tried to find their recipe over and over again without success. I finally gave up, and I had not thought about this perfect comfort food in years. So, at the height of my stress level last week, I received a e-newsletter from the GrandLife Group with a subject line that read "The Perfect Mac & Cheese." I was in the middle of a conference call when I got the email ping, and I was distracted for the rest of the conversation. Could it be the elusive Soho Grand version? No way, I thought to myself. However, I was pleasantly surprised to open the email and find, indeed, the chef's handwritten recipe for the Soho Grand Mac & Cheese! Of course, I could not stop thinking about it the rest of the week, so it had to make its way on tonight's Sunday Supper menu.
In addition, I discovered a grass fed chuck roast from Mountain Valley Farm in the freezer this morning, so I thawed it out to go with the Mac & Cheese. At this point, my goal was to create the quintessential comfort food menu to celebrate the refinancing of my new, old home! Since I had to have a green vegetable to serve on the side, I cooked a pot of collard greens with a local ham hock from Cherokee Market. They practically melted in your mouth, and I served them with the pepper sauce I made this summer.
Now I am stuffed and content as a cold, steady rain falls outside. It will be a great night for sleeping before another busy week begins tomorrow. I hope your weekend was filled with grand memories as well. Peace be with you!
- Georgia Grass Fed Chuck Roast with Carrots and Onions
- Soho Grand Hotel's Mac and Cheese
- Collard Greens and Ham Hocks with Homemade Pepper Sauce
The Recipe – Soho Grand Hotel's "Grand Mac & Cheese"
1 Tbs Butter
1 Small Onion - chopped
1 Cup Flour
8 Cups Milk
1 lb. Cavatappi Pasta
1 lb. Gruyere Cheese - grated
1 lb. Sharp White Cheddar -grated
4 oz. Cream Cheese
2 oz. Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Dijon Mustard
Sweat onions in butter, then add flour. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer.
While milk is simmering, cook pasta in salted water and drain before fully cooked.
Remove milk and flour mixture from heat, then add grated Gruyere, cheddar and cream cheese with pasta.
Add Dijon mustard and mix well and allow mixture to cool.
Once cool, transfer to individual, shallow oven safe dishes and top with Parmesan.
Reheat in 250 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
When pasta is golden brown, crispy on top and bubbly; it's ready!