We’re thrilled to have 8 copies of a wonderful cookbook written by local cheese-maker, Kurt Beecher Dammeier, to give away to you — our devoted readers. This book couldn’t be more appropriate for anyone who looks to us to provide suggestions for delicious ways to prepare our local bounty. Not only are there 125 recipes, many of which are destined to become favorites, there’s also a wealth of information about specific ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll also find interesting sidebars on several of the movers & shakers on the local food scene. Kurt Dammeier is the creator of Beecher’s Cheese, owner of Pasta & Co gourmet retail shops and Pure Food Bistro on Mercer Island. I guess you could say he knows a thing or two about local food.
This is how it’s going to work. We want to take this opportunity to get some MixedGreens feedback from all of you. We’re in the process of re-designing our blog in an effort to make it an even more compelling place for you to visit. We want to provide you with helpful information as well as inspire you to incorporate some of our ideas into your daily lives. So….. add a comment to any post, including this one, that includes your name, email address (so if you win, we can contact you for your mailing address) and some useful feedback about what you like, want to see more (or less) of — suggestions about how to improve our blog to fit your needs, and yes, things you don’t like are also welcome. Your name will be put in a hat and we’ll draw 8 names on Wednesday July 1 and will contact the winners by Friday July 3.
Eight lucky people who add a comment that fits this description will be mailed a free copy of Pure Flavor, no strings attached. If you’ve never commented on our blog before, this is a great time to get started. It’s very easy. Just go down to the end of any post and click on “comments.” There will be a box for your name, email address, and of course, your comment. Fill these in, click on “submit” and that’s all you have to do. You may enter as many times as you’d like. If you already own this book, consider getting another copy and gift it to a foodie friend.
I tried the recipe for the “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese from the book and submitted it for approval to some of the most accomplished mac & cheese aficionados I know — Lily & Adrian. Both of them enthusiastically ate bowlful after bowlful. Mom & Dad tested in the background and agreed a little more of the cheesey sauce would make it even better. Other than that, it may not have been the “world’s best” but it was pretty close.
Don’t be shy. Join our conversation. Leave a comment & get a free cookbook.
Serves 4 as a side dish
6 ounces penne pasta
2 cups Beecher’s Flagship Sauce (recipe follows)
1 ounce cheddar, grated ( 1/4 cup)
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated ( 1/4 cup)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil or butter an 8-inch baking dish.
Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
If you double the recipe to make a main dish, bake in a 9-by-13-inch pan for 30 minutes.
BEECHER’S FLAGSHIP CHEESE SAUCE
Makes about 4 cups
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
14 ounces semihard cheese, such as Beecher’s Flagship, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 ounces grated semisoft cheese, such as Beecher’s Just Jack
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes.
Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
Add the cheese, salt, chile powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days.
A single batch makes enough for a double recipe of macaroni and cheese.
Recipes from Pure Flavor: 125 Fresh All-American Recipes from the Pacific Northwest by Kurt Beecher Dammeier with Laura Holmes Haddad