Friday 4 July
We had to have something absolutely American for Independence Day dinner, and there is nothing more American than hamburgers, unless it's mac 'n' cheese. On the other hand, our reader will observe a few highfalutin foreign notes in how we went about producing the meal.
Instead of buying a bag of buns from the supermarket, Holt (who's been dying to get his yeast active again) mixed up a sloppy batch of Italian olive oil bread; rather than making his usual wreath of rounds, he piled the dough into muffin rings, topped with salt, and baked a batch of the best-tasting sturdy burger buns ever.
In the meantime, we used the elbow macaroni and bag of shredded cheddar that Lea and Mark left here as the basis for mac 'n' cheese, though it was really cheddar melted into a standard sauce béchamel, tossed with the cooked pasta, topped with more cheese, and baked.
Lea and Mark had also left a packet of 90% lean Angus beef, so it just needed to be pattied, salted, peppered, and pan-fried until no more than medium rare. And in the same pan, we caramelized some sliced onions and seasoned them with salt - and dulce pimentón de la Vera.
Piled up on a plate and doused with ketchup (really a Malay sauce, but who's kidding whom?) it was so Italian, and French, and Spanish, and Canadian, i.e., American.