Friday, December 19, 2008

'Macdown' practice | Onions are no fun at all

My onion-soiled disaster.

I'm posting this only to prove that I can cook, despite a post in which I questioned my own sanity partially because of what I eat.

Yes, I'm weird. But that doesn't mean I can't use an oven. Crackers are a staple of my diet, but I enjoy other things, too. Like cereal.

A sort of "Macdown" in which co-workers bring in their take on the American favorite, macaroni and cheese, has taken place over the past month at FLORIDA TODAY. All of the dishes were great. And I did take a liking to one in particular, but I can't publicly side with any one co-worker; it would surely add awkwardness to the workplace. Copy desks are awkward by nature, and they don't need mac and cheese to exacerbate the situation. Commas and hyphens do that job well.

My first oven-cooked (and over-cooked) attempt at mac and cheese - not counting those times in a dorm room nuking Easy Mac - followed a recipe by my favorite Food Network personality, Alton Brown. The formula called for a cup of diced onions. And that's where it all went wrong.

Not the preparation of them, that is.

I sliced and diced the onion until I thought I had enough for a half cup. I put the bits into the measuring container, and - BINGO - I nailed it. Exactly a half cup. I can measure!

I could get good at this real-people-food thing, I thought.

I burned the sauce, which I thought would foreshadow my undoing. The paprika-colored milk bubbled over the pot: The lava spewed from the volcano and cooled into a black mess on my stove top. I live in Florida, but my kitchen was Hawaii. The unburned portion seemed edible, though. So I went with it.

And that reminds me: The scum-bottomed pot is still in the sink, uncleaned.


The result was a pile of hot pasta topped with panko bread crumbs and one-quarter of the 12 ounces of cheddar cheese (that's 5 ounces, right?). I sprinkled on some oregano leaves to dress it up for a photo. It was the most beautiful - and only - thing I had ever made.

The taste? A bit off. What was it? The stupid, yellow onions. That perfect measurement was all for nothing. And bad breath.

It wasn't Macdown material.

So, now I seek an onion-less mac and cheese recipe to show my co-workers what's what and who's who. Or at least, to prove that I'm not crazy.

Anyone got a mint? On a cracker?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You crack me up.