e cooks: buttermilk fried chicken & macaroni and cheese

Another Sunday, another indulgent food fest.

This time, it was in the comfort of our own home. E wore his chef's hat again and got to work in the kitchen for quite the feast.

We had been especially healthy throughout the week, so he thought we should just go all out and do this the American way - fried chicken and mac n' cheese.

Of course, I did the reasonable wife thing - "No dear, we can't have both deep fried meat and cheese covered carbs in one meal."

I definitely did not say, "Ohhh and what would be for dessert?"

...anyway, he used his beloved Thomas Keller's books Ad Hoc (for the chicken) and Bouchon (for the macaroni gratin), but you can find the recipes here and here.

The fried chicken recipe isn't your standard, straight-forward option - you have to brine the chicken to season it perfectly, which has to be done at least 6 hours in advance. And the macaroni gratin is definitely not anything close to your Kraft box - it's a fancy pants one with flavourful Mornay sauce and a very rich and deep taste (and very addictive).

Overall, it was a big success - and it was far too dangerous to keep the leftovers at home, so we gave them to our friends for their dinner. Always a good trick if you want to be nice to your friends and to your waistline!

I was officially the sous-chef, but unless sous-chefs are supposed to abandon their jobs in order to shove the camera in the chef's face/hands/food, I'm probably fired by now.

I did make great virgin Mojitos though (lime juice, mint, a squirt of Agave nectar), so maybe that makes up for it?

p.s. yes, I took a page out of Honest Burgers' book and picked up some colourful paper straws. They are pretty magical.