Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Everyweek with Rachael Ray

At home Mrs F has started on a "Cooking with Rachael Ray" on Wednesdays thing. I am not quite sure how we got on it but I think it has something to do with her sister using Rachael Ray recipes at a few parties we went to. Either way, these magazines started showing up at the house with all kinds of recipes.

The first thing we tried was something called French Twist. It is one of those things that sounds dirty but isn't. It was a variation on French Toast but with lots and lots of sugar and sugar based things like syrup.

I called it "Elf Breakfast". The only thing missing was candy canes. So we start in making elf breakfast and we ran across the step that says:

"Boil until the caramel is light brown in color and a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees". Since we are not actually elves, we do not have a candy thermometer and we guess at what "light brown" in color means. Needless to say, we guessed wrong. The French Twist came out with a layer of sugary goo at the bottom of the pan.

Score: Rachael 1, US 0.

Next? Pulled Chicken. This one actually wasn't bad and didn't take fooorrrevvvver.

We even it up with Rachael as the score is now tied 1-1.

Last week we tried Sausages and Warm Potato Salad. Quite good and easy to make and didn't require a conduit bender or eye-of-newt. We pull ahead 2-1.

And then came tonight's dish. Baked Macaroni and Gouda.

First Mistake: Serves 8. We are 4 and Youngest son is at Medieval Sword Fighting Night (it's a long story for another blog).

Second Mistake: Not actually reading the directions before jumping in.

Third Mistake: prep time: 40 minutes and cooking time 1 hr. We start at 6:30.

We start in on frying the sausage after taking the sausage out of the casing because that is what the recipe called for and "caramelizing onions". Caramelizing onions has it's very own recipe on the page before. We should have stopped here and just made macaroni and cheese or something but we pressed on. We literally dirty every pot we own and still have over half of the steps to go. We boil pasta, we caramelize, we fry sausage, we grate Gouda and then came the killer step that we some how over looked: a cheese sauce.

The fatal mistake comes when I misread 6 tablespoons of flour for 6 cups of flour when making the sauce. We dump 1 full cup of flour into the melted 6 teaspoons of butter and immediately make butter flavored play-doh and then added another cup of flour. We have dried up mush so we add the milk. It's still not enough to make the play-doh into something edible. We toss the whole "sauce" mess into the trash.

Now we have a decision: continue on or toss the whole mess and order pizza? I head out for more milk and butter becasue we are making this if it kills me at this point. It's now 7:30 and we have nothing for dinner. Rachael Ray is laughing at us somewhere. She is wearing a cute red robe like in the pictures in the magazine.

I head out the stop-n-shop from hell and pick up milk and butter.

We make the cheese sauce slowly by adding in the 6 tablespoons of flour to the butter and whisking, whisking and more whisking. We put the whole thing together and baked it for 40 minutes. This had better be good. Or bad because we are never making this again.

At 8:30 oldest son came in and said "Are we eating soon?"

In the end the recipe was very good but was more complicated than a space mission to mars.

Rachael wins 10-2.

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