I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Now that you've got pumpernickle ...

One particular meal comes to mind when I think of pumpernickle bread - reubens! I can't think of a more perfect combination to eat with pumpernickle bread than corned beef and sour kraut. To eat with your reuben you need something really tasty. I decided to make macaroni and cheese. I altered a recipe from a great cookbook. In the last year Gourmet magazine came out with a cookbook with the best recipes from their magazine. I don't get Gourmet magazine but I bought the Gourmet Cookbook.. It is a great resource for the definitive versions of different dishes.

Macaroni and Cheese ala Koko

Boil enough macaroni to fill a 9X9 inch baking dish. Drain the macaroni when it is cooked and save 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Put the macaroni and pasta water in the buttered baking dish.

Make cheese sauce by melting 1 T butter in a sauce pan. Add 1 T flour and a few red pepper flakes. Stir for a few minutes to make a roux.

To the roux add:
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces velveta
1 t salt
freshly ground black pepper

Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Add 1 t Dijon mustard. Simmer until velveta melts. Add 1 cup finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Pour sauce over macaroni and stir. It will seem kind of soupy.

Make a topping by crushing a few Saltine crackers. Melt 2 T butter and combine with the crackers. Add 1/2 cup finely shredded extra sharp cheddar.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is browning and bubbly.

There are as many ways to make reubens as there are mothers. I think a lot of how mothers end up deciding on a recipe depends on what ingredients are available to them. We lived out in the middle of nowhere, so not much was available in terms of quality corned beef. Even so, I love this particular recipe for reubens, so that is how I make them.

Reuben Sandwiches

2 slices of dark pumpernickle rye bread
1 slice Swiss cheese
a few slices of corned beef. We always got the kind that comes in the plastic package, is square, and sliced real thin. I don't even know if it is real corned beef but it tastes good. Carl Budding is the brand that comes to mind.
sour kraut
thousand island dressing or Russian dressing

Place beef on bread, then sour kraut, then dressing, then cheese. Butter the outsides of the bread and grill. The cheese will run down through the sour kraut and be extra delicious.

I also made a little steamed broccoli as a side.

After the meal we just layed around and watched the bowl games.