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The Macaroni Forger

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Hello, readers and eaters! I took quite the holiday break, eh? Over my blogging vacation, I went wheat-free. So, from here on out, there will be less bread up in here. Luckily, my beloved pasta can be wheat-free, so, without further ado-

The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro, is a book very artist should read. Every art historian as well. I do mean amateur, as well as professional- there is so much food for thought (see what I did there) in this book. I found myself repeatedly setting the book down to google images, ideas, and equipment. It was like taking a class in advanced oil technique, only with a suspenseful subplot, which none of my college classes ever have.

The plot centers around a disgraced but tremendously talented painter, Claire. She has a History with the art world that has reduced her to living illegally in her tiny studio, spending her afternoons at a bar she can’t afford to drink in.

When a very attractive, successful dealer offers her a deal that will end in a triumphant comeback, she takes it. Her end of the bargain is to copy a Degas, which will be passed off as an original to a foreign buyer. The first catch is that the original she is working from is stolen. The second catch is that Claire begins to suspect the “original” is itself a forgery. Intrigue and twists ensue.

Claire, when making her first dinner date with Attractive Dealer, tells him she normally eats mac and cheese. To be cute, he makes her a gourmet version for their first evening together, with herbs, mushrooms, and fresh tomatoes.

The Macaroni Forger

1 lb macaroni
2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
4 Tb butter
2 lb assorted grated cheeses
(I used Brie, Parmesan, and white cheddar.)
4 oz cubed cream cheese
1 egg

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup red wine
1 heirloom tomato
1 stalk fresh rosemary

Hm, I misordered those. Put the last four ingredients in a small pot and allow to simmer whilst you prepare the noodles.

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the macaroni 2 minutes less than the directed time. Drain it and return to the pot. Add the milk and butter to the pot as well. Add the cheeses a bit at a time until melted.

Remove from heat, and cool for a few moments until you can add the egg without scrambling it. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into a 9 x 13 and bake for 1/2 hour. Top with mushrooms, which you have kept separate in case you have guests like Ashleigh Nelson, who flout excellent taste in favor of childhood prejudices.

Serve with more wine and a salad.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Sacrè Bleu Potatoes!

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Christopher Moore has a particular style- sly humor, a bit of slapstick, and quite often a foul-mouthed demon sidekick. In his latest tome, Sacrè Bleu, he applies this winning formula to the Post-Impressionist painters at the end of the 19th century. The story opens with Vincent Van Gogh’s untimely death, purportedly by suicide. But then why, his friends wonder, would he have walked a full mile to seek medical assistance? Henri Toulouse-Latrec and the baker/painter Lucien Lessard are determined to find out, get very drunk, and get laid as often as possible along the way. Hilarity and danger ensue. The book itself is gorgeously blue… Half-jacket (would we call it a bookvest?), illustrated hardcover, and even blue ink. To sit down with this book and eat something red would be all wrong. Ok, fine, so the sauce turns purple– it’s still made with things that have blue in their names!

Sacrè Bleu Potatoes

1 lb small blue potatoes
1 Tb butter
3 minced cloves garlic
6 oz fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 oz crumbled Bleu cheese
2 Tb heavy cream
1 sprig fresh basil, chopped

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 11-20 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Drain.

As the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter over medium heat in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the blueberries next, and give them a good smush with a potato masher. Add the wine. Let the sauce come to a full boil and reduce til thick. It took mine about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, cream, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the potatoes, with a green salad and a large glass of cognac.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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