Mon 16 Feb 2009
My macaroni and cheese has six cheeses: Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, colby, bleu cheese (Point Reyes Bleu), gruyere and parmesan. I start with four cups of bechamel sauce into which I stir two cups of shredded cheeses (which makes it a Mornay sauce) and then mix the cooked macaroni and sauce in a large bowl. I add more shredded cheeses, diced country ham and a few chopped tomatoes. Once the mixture is spread in a baking dish, I scatter over the top handfuls of panko bread crumbs tossed with shredded cheeses and finally, over all, I grate more gruyere and parmesan. About 30 minutes at 375 degrees will do it, though it doesn’t hurt to turn on the broiler for a minute or two so those bread crumbs get toasty and crusty. Yum!
For wine, I opened a bottle of the Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2008, from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. This is an inexpensive pinot noir that may lack great dimension but gets the details right. The color is medium ruby-cranberry; the bouquet offers cloves and allspice, cranberry and cola and red and black currants with a hint of melon. In the mouth, the currant and blueberry flavors develop elements of dried spice and potpourri and a touch of earthiness. The wine ages briefly in a combination of new and used French oak and stainless steel, a process that retains the grape’s fresh appeal and zestiness, while contributing a firm satiny texture. No blockbuster here but a model of charm and delicacy and delicious fruit. Very Good+. About $14.
FWE Imports, Napa California.