Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Garden Mac™

I have discovered a new toe-curl, and oh, darlings, are you ever gonna love this. Are you ready? Roasted tomato bechamel. "What are its uses?" you might be asking yourself. "What aren't its uses," I retort! The first is mac n chee, of course! With garden vegetables!

Okay, now we're talking. I'm getting some real food outta the garden, and not just kale, chard, collards, kale and kohlrabi. And more kohlrabi and collards. Naw, this is when we can start telling crucifers to just fuck right off and get into the good stuff: the nightshades (tomatoes, chiles, eggplants), cucurbits (cukes, zucchini, pattypans) and legumes (bush beans, runner beans). Oh my.

Okay, to be fair, my tomatoes are still green and these little rubies are from the store. And my peppers are still wee little green nubs, a mere twinkling in their daddy's eye. But soon! Sooon. Besides, I have Sylvetta arugula, Purple Queen bush beans, Albarello di Sarzano zucchini.

A simple roast on the tomatoes is all you need: one hour at 400 degrees, with only a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Go about your business making a standard bechamel (butter + flour + 5 minutes = roux, whisk in milk until creamy gravy, simmer for 10-15, S&P and nutmeg to taste). When you pull the tomatoes out of the oven, though, deglaze the baking dish with some cheap white wine and scrape all the good tomato-y fond off, which will melt into a nice golden-orange juice. Stir this into the bechamel that's happily bubbling away on the stove. Add your garden vedge (trimmed into bite-sized pieces and quickly sauteed tender-crisp), a handful's worth of various grated cheeses (I had Jarlsberg and some Parm Redge going blue). Stir together with the cooked macaroni and some greens, and pour the whole thing back into the tomato-roasting dish. Top with more cheese, and bake for 15-20, until bubbly and gooey.

Mark my words, roasted tomato bechamel is going to be a thing.

Hey, so please tell me I'm not the only one who Googles her own blog once in awhile. You do it too, right? Because SiteMeter is great and all, but just doesn't always tell you who's looking and linking. Well kiss my grits if I didn't find out that a nice intern at Fine Cooking Magazine had given yours truly a nod on the Kitchen Sink (that's the Editor's blog!) as one of the reasons why working at Fine Cooking is so hard! Because she gets tortured by all of the yummeh on the internet! It's a good thing that I am so self-absorbed, or else I'd never have had the chance to thank them for the attention. It's enough to make a girl blush, really. Thank you for the traffic, Fine Cooking (and omg I love Fine Gardening too)!

Another shout-out deserving my thanks: my good friend Foodycat has honored me with the Arte y Pico Award. I am extremely flattered that anyone even reads this damn thing, let alone wants to give me an award. Really, my blog is just type-written masturbation, and all of the photos are just there for those times when words fail me. So thank you, Foodycat! In keeping with my curmudgeonly ways (now it's tradition), I will not pass this on to anyone else.

Happy summer!


Emily said...

What kind of flower is that? It's pretty.

Congrats on being recognized - well deserved.

I WANT some garden mac! Now! And I think roasted tomato bechamel will be your new thing.

April was in CA now MA said...

I put some roasted veggies into a spicy mac n cheeeeese a few days ago and I'm in love. I am definitely trying this one because I'm not creative enough to make something so cool! I just hope I don't screw it up without a recipe because I'm.. ya know..not creative. Maybe at some point the gazillion green grape tomatoes on my plant will ripen and I can use those.

Lunch Buckets said...

Congratulations! You looks so cute when you blush! Seriously though, Mac & Cheese and masturbation? - I think you may be my husband's ideal woman. If he starts bothering you just smack him on the nose and tell him to get his ass home.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Roasted tomato + bechamel? I think I just peed in my pants. ;)

Manggy said...

Confession: when I saw the title arrive in my RSS reader, I thought you had made a vegetarian Big Mac. No joke.
Congratulations on the recognition! Well-deserved :) I hope when I roast my tomatoes, it won't accentuate their crappiness! That would be such a waste! I have a feeling the roasted tomato bechamel will be a thing, too! And that mac & cheese! Yum! :)

Anonymous said...

Hooooo-leeeee Sheeeeeeeeeit! Roasted Tomato Bechamel is going to be the new evoo. And heee "Tell the crucifers to fuck right off" indeed. hahaha

Peter M said...

I'm elated to find out that there are things (other than your man's armpits) that give you a toecurl! ;)

The tom-bechamel looks and sounds bowl-lickin good...worthy of washing sticky/gooey plates.

Again, congrats on getting noticed, the warm & fuzzy feeling is good.

Alicia Foodycat said...

That roasted tom bechamel is the way forward! My tomatoes are still flowers, but when they get going! Oh yeah!

Laura Paterson said...

God - your garden produce gives me toecurls. And a greenish tinge.

I'm liking the roasted tom bechamel idea - looking forward to seeing what else you put it to use with!

glamah16 said...

You go with your bad self! I think you are onto something here.

Brittany said...

That flower is gorgeous, and I had never even thought to add veggies to my mac n cheese, but I am totally going to try it this weekend!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Tomato bechamel is cool and quite sophisticated! Its good to be recognised...you deserve it babe!

peter said...

All hail the blessed arrival of nightshades, cucurbits, and legumes (though our peas are done.) I had a big bowl of garden last night.

Syd said...

A mention on Fine Cooking is a huge fucking SCORE.

Thistlemoon said...

Wow Heather! Your garden sure is coming along! YAY! Everything looks beautiful, including that dish! YUM!

Heather said...

Emmy - It's the flower from a scarlet runner bean! I can't wait to eat the beans.

April - Oh pshaw, you're gonna be fine without a recipe! Just add roasted tomatoes to a regular bechamel recipe (see Joy of Cooking or somesuch).

Lunch Bukkits - Thanks! And you crack me up, lol. (*^_^*)

JS - You'd better clean that up! :D

Mark - Haha I just used grape toms (maybe they were a nicer variety) for mine. Can't you grow tomatoes in the Phillipines?

Nikki - Well, my bechamel could certainly give Racheal Ray a beatdown. Crucifers are so two weeks ago.

Peter the Greek - Warm and fuzzies are almost as good as a nice fat ding in the ol' Paypal from Foodbuzz, eh? ;)

Foodycat - Tomato bechamel is au courant, that's for sure.

Kittie - I hope the greenish tinge doesn't mean you're coming down with something! :P

Courtney - I'm gonna hafta get pretty creative if I wanna use everything coming outta my garden.

Brittany - Mac n chee is a wonderful, gooey, blank canvas that is delicious with just about anything!

Petah - Aww, shucks. (#^_^#)

Jube - I didn't have any peas, but next year I'm finnuh. Corn is next - I already have a few ears fattening up!

Syd - omgIknow,rite? I am always surprised that people read my shit.

Jenn - If there were only a way to do a fresh produce foodie swap! I'd love to send you some of mine and get some citrus or avocados from you.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've wanted to do something different with mac & cheese for a while now, and roasted tomato bechamel sounds pretty awesome to me. Also, congrats on the big mention--that's awesome!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Google Analytics? It's easy to use and will show you where all of your links are coming from.

The garden mac looks awesome!

Julie Jams said...

That looks so good.

Anonymous said...

Happy summer to you too Heather! Your garden produce sounds bloody fantastic, even if a lot of it isn't quite ready yet. Those kohlrabi's really keep coming don't they? We aren't getting them over here at the moment and I have to say, I'm pretty glad about that. As for the bechamel - yes, yes, YEEESSS!

Leigh said...

you know, no matter where in the world you eat, the cult of mac n' cheese lives on. Personally, I dump a tspn of dijon or grain mustard into mine!

Lo said...

OK, Heather - slurping out of lurkdom to let you know that this dish not only looks delicious, but I can taste it already. AND, on top of everything, I have just the right tomatoes starting to ripen outside to do this justice.

Kudos on the kudos... they're well deserved!

Anonymous said...

That sounds great, seems like a wondeful gourmet macaroni dish!


Anonymous said...

That sure looks a hell of a lot better than the crap you get at Montage. I'm so over people recommending that place for good mac 'n' cheese. BLECH!

Also, comment: nice change of picture. Although, I sure loved the ambience of the old one, now we can actually see your face. And speaking of which, you now look so familiar - I'm certain we've run in a circle together at some point. But then again, that's Portland for you.


Anonymous said...

And I alomst forgot to ask: Where da breadcrumbs at?

damn, am I southern.


Anonymous said...

#1: bitch, you trademarked my idea! kidding. but it does looks amazing!

#2: love the new picture of you on the blog - now I actually know what you look like.

#3: well-deserved nod from fine cooking! you fine, girl!

Allison Jones said...

haha my tomatoes and peppers are still green, too. A few more weeks! It's too bad we had those few weeks of June-uary, because our gardens might be a bit more fruitful right now... It IS the end of July, after all.

Manggy said...

Yeah, I could grow the tomatoes, I just am not going to be consistently around in the near future to care for them! (I suppose I could ask my family to take care of them for me...)

Heather said...

Mike - I think bechamels are ready to be played with. It's time!

Stacy - I am definitely switching ot Google Analytics when I switch to my new site (coming soon!).

Julie - Thanks! So's your avatar. :P

Helen - I have one kohlrabi left that I am just leaving to see how huge it can get before it asplodes.

Leigh - Good grainy mustard sounds like a great addition to mac n chee, but I actually like to put ketchup on mine (it's so white trash but it's so good).

Lo - I'd better get busy brainstorming if I'm ever gonn think of ways to use all the toms I'm gonna have.

Chocolate Shavings - It comes pretty close in yummeh to the pancetta mac n chee I had for room service on my wedding night (so good with pink champagne).

Leif - The Montage kinda blows, but people who eat at 3 AM have pretty low standards. :P I'm prolly gonna change the pic again, because I look dead behind the eyes, but glad people are liking it! Also, I am against bread crumbs on the mac n chee.

Amy - #1 You snooze, you lose. #2 Oh, why thank you! #3 No, you fine! No, you!

Oakley - Well, you know this is still a pretty typical year, despite a cold sprimg. Better late than never! I just hope the fall mushroom season doesn't get thrown.

Mark - I can't think of many things that taste better than fresh-picked tomatoes, so maybe they'll do you the favor. ;)

Anonymous said...

Against breadcrumbs! Man, I'm addicted to it. Probably no more than nostalgia, but baked mac'n'cheese topped with breadcrumbs just always seemed to add an awesome layer of texture to an otherwise all gooey dish.
I have a friend who also uses broken potato chips in the same fashion. Not sure how that one makes me feel - maybe trashy...?

I'll support your opinions but please dont' be a hater.


Allison Jones said...

haha, maybe I should stop taking pictures in the sunshine and switch to my basement...

Núria said...

Congratulations Guapa!

That bechamel sounds as something to be cloned soon ;D

This is my first year collecting tomatoes from my garden and it's fun!

I'm having a party! Wanna come for a drink?

michael, claudia and sierra said...

you, my dear are a TOTAL standout...

Brittany said...

Congrats on some well deserved props.

But where the fuck is the recipe? You taunt me with those pictures, which are food porn in it's purest form, then don't tell my dumb ass how to make it.

Cruel, Heather. Just cruel.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

this is comfort food ... i want some now ...yum !!

The P & A Food Chronicles said...

you should have that registered!! lol

Alicia Foodycat said...

OK. I am going in. Garden mac & chee (with variations, because you can't control the signal, Mal) on the plate in 1 1/2 hrs.


Hmmm... Not sure how far that would make it in my house. Two seconds after I made the bechamel it would be "renamed" Roasted Tomato Bechamel Soup and I'd eat it right out of the pan with a big spoon. Hee!!

Heather said...

Leif - I ain't mad at breadcrumbs on mac n chee, I just prefer them on tuna casserole (oh, whoooops).

Oakley - The weather lately is sure to scare away the non-locals. :)

Núria - Yes, of course I want to come over for a drink! (*^o^*)

Claudia - I know you are but what am I?

Brittany - I'm teaching a man to fish instead of giving him one. (-_^)

Kate - I'm on something of a kick these days. Next up, corn chowder.

P & A - I should bottle some when I harvest all my toms, fer sher.

Foodycat - Yours looks fantastic! The tomato flavor gets all concentrated and sweet, dunnit?

Soup du Jour - I'd be lying if I said the thought hadn't already crossed my mind. ;)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Congrats on all of your recognitions.

I love this idea. I love roasted tomatoes and this is a great way to use them.

Unknown said...

That looks like a nice way to freshen up some mac and cheese.

Unknown said...

can I just say "URGH..." wiping drool offa my chin RIGHT NOW...I LOVE THE BECHAMEL...this is what I use for lasagna instead of ricotta and YOU JUST WON MY HEART OVA to add this instead of plain bechamel.
thanks lady...
also, thanks for stopping by today and checking the girls out at Wheres My Damn Answer


Anonymous said...

You're a trend-setter. That's why magazine editors are writing about you! Congrats. :-)

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