Italian sausage-pepperjack ravioli

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Spicy bechemal
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Kale-walnut pesto

The latter looks rather atrocious, but was slightly preferable — a proper pesto would do nicely, though the lemony flavor of this worked well.

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Kale, olive pesto lasagna

L20160616_1834481Lasagna was always appreciated, ever since back when we were kids.  Never something particularly longed for, but nice like a warm pair of socks on a cold winter day.  “What’s for dinner?”  — “Lasagna.”  Alright — that’s okay.  Never something ordered out, but brought to the menu now and again:  Great for large groups, not a terrible challenge to make.  The status of lasagna was raised significantly, when the mother-in-law served it with freshly made noodles:  An entirely better offering.

This variety from TheEndlessMeal is one of the best variations ever had — a slight pungency in the sauce from the tomatoes and balsamic, and an absolutely outstanding complement from the kale pesto.

As necessary, fresh noodles were used, and the pan was layered with cheese, sauce and noodle to the top — whereon the pesto was slathered.  Foolishly, the walnuts were forgotten until after a broil, and then hastily added at the end — they may have burned otherwise, and might fit well in a layer of sauce.

The idea of lasagna with many things has been tried — and failed, outside of the original.  This is one that really elevates the dish.

Seared mushrooms with wakame-matcha-butter sauce

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Seared mushrooms are always delicious…  A little bit of salt zipped them up nicely, and probably preferably before adding a splash of the sauce to them.

Good — anyhow — wakame adding a nice sea flavor, the matcha somewhere therein, likely not adding much to the flavor, but possibly a helpful dose of antioxident.

A quizzical dish from Olives for Dinner, likely better with the mushrooms left un-sauced and simply deliciously seared.  The green could also be pulled back a bit to more of a hint, than such a prominent flavor.

 

Cabot mac-n-cheese

Long, long ago, in a land twenty miles away — Saturday mornings were grudgingly spent trudging around the market:  Cold, hail, high sun, tornadoes — whatever.  Every weekend it was done.

Dad has never been particularly social.. Actually, within the community of chemists he finds his niche…  But generally, beyond, in the general population he has always kept to himself — except at the market.  There, we’d spend three hours gathering fresh fruits, fish, meats and cheese, he — pulling along his barely helpful and grumpy campanion from booth to booth.

At every stop he’d stop to chat:  Mrs. White the egg lady, Ruby the cider lady, the honey guy, the apple guy, orange guy, the guys in the fish store that decided he should be called Bob, Gabriels, Oak Packing — aarrgh!  The hour at Cost Plus!  He was a farm boy growing up, perhaps it’s his milieu.

But the trips were also sort of therapeutic, spending time together — he, always trying to be inclusive with the conversation, some of the few moments we ever engaged in conversation, talking about the many things we’d stumble there upon.

And there were payoffs:  The favorite one of memory were the infrequent stops at J.R. Hirt, with sore feet, arms aching and only to be greeted there on entry with a crowd packed in, the many lines blended in to one, un-articulated crowd.  But there never was complaint as bags were dropped by our feet and, with luck, a dark green painted post would happen to be nearby to rest against as the mass slowly crept toward one of the windows in the painted green, wooden wall.

There, would come the payoff, offered forward by the giant slicing knives that would cleave a sliver, then stab it with the point and lift it toward us:  We would take the pieces gingerly and place them in our mouths, savoring the flavor as we compared our impressions of the many samples.

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These days the cheese goes by DeVries and the little windows are replaced by open counters.  But just like way back then, grumpy kids dragged to the market perk up with the thought of stopping in.  And just like then, we sample cheese and make comparisons — though WIll likes it just as well for the elevator and floor three.

Early on they gave a sample of a Cabot cheddar, and ever since, Jared has declared it is his favorite cheese, asking for a slab on every visit.

On a night of turned up noses at falafel platters, Jared postulated what it might be like to make a mac and cheese with Cabot cheddar.  The answer was helpfully provided by a pastrychefonline and offered as an alternative option.

The boys both looked at the result rather dubiously, but took a little sample, as most often they both will.  They took a larger, second helping too, and declared it was the best mac and cheese ever.

The bears will stop them!” Grewchs shouted, thinking he sounded overly cheerful at the prospect.