Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sex In The Kitchen

When I came across this inventive recipe for baking macaroni and cheese casserole in a cast iron skillet, the first thing that popped into my mind was a highly memorable sentence that I've recently read:
The best ideas are when you take two older ideas that have nothing to do with each other, make them have sex with each other, and then build a business around the bastard, ugly child that results.
Those words come directly from a fantastically interesting article called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepenuers, written by James Altucher, and I highly recommend that you check that out and read it for yourself. 

But first, see me through on this mac and cheese business: 

I'm a huge fan of a rich and creamy homemade macaroni and cheese casserole. It's one of my tried-and-true home-cooked meals. 

And I'm also devoted to the concept of cast iron skillet cooking. Such a versatile and easygoing friend in the kitchen.

But never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me to bake a casserole in my cast iron skillet. Yet when I saw how the clever and creative mind of Emma at A Beautiful Mess blended the two ideas together, I did indeed feel as if I was meeting not an ugly, bastard child, but a beautiful, perfect and precious baby of warm and yummy deliciousness. 

Look. Isn't it adorable?


I definitely recommend this recipe. Using the same basic ingredients and technique as my family favorite, the Beautiful Mess version adds vegetable stock, pepper jack cheese, and some spices and herbs. I doubled the recipe, used green onions on top instead of fresh chive, and cut back a little on the cheese. 

The result was a rich and creamy dish with more complex flavors and interesting textures than my kid-friendly version offers up. I especially liked how the edges got extra crispy and golden brown, thanks to the well-seasoned and super hot skillet. And as good as it was fresh from the oven, I have a feeling that the leftovers are going to be even better. Honestly, I'm thinking about helping myself to a midnight snack as soon as I finish writing this. 

I served the mac and cheese with this acorn squash and some cooked carrots (which had not yet made it to my plate.)
I love an all-orange meal. 

So thank you, Emma, for your matchmaking skills in the kitchen. 
And thank you, James, for your bold and picturesque metaphor. 
You've both inspired me to try some new combinations of my own. 

Which means that while you, dear reader, are off to check out that sexy article about mediocre entrepreneurship,  I'm going to introduce a half-gallon of Rocky Road ice cream to my toaster, and see if I can make any sparks fly.

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More stories about the random ideas that fuse themselves together in my head:

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