Beethoven’s “Mac ‘n’ Cheese.”



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Serves 4 to 6

Ludwig von Beethoven’s was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, on or about December 16th.  As was the custom of the time, actual dates of birth were seldom recorded, however the date of the baptism was, since it was considered that you weren’t truly born until you were baptized.  The recorded date of his baptism is December 17th, and since it was the tradition for infants to be baptized 1 to 3 days after birth, well... scholars have decided on December 16th as the date of his birth.

To celebrate this icon in the world of music why not have one of his favorite dishes for dinner.  Beethoven had a rather nonchelant attitude about food but we do know that he prefered fish to other forms of flesh, he liked a dish called “Drowned Eggs,” which were basically poached eggs, and he liked Mac ‘n’ Cheese.” 

Now,  this would in no way resemble that revolting sludge that comes in a box.  First, the “mac,” would have been closer to Späetzle and Beethoven’s favorite cheese was a well aged parmesan.  The following recipe is based on one from an 1803 cookbook published in Vienna.

1 large yellow or white onion, diced and Caramelized

1 recipe Späetzle

About 1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste. *

About a cup of freshly grated well aged Parmesan
½ cup toasted bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Caramelize the onions and set aside.  Make the Späetzle, drain well, add the butter, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir gently and set aside.   Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and parsley.  Reserve about ½ a cup of this mixture and toss the rest gently with the Späetzle.  Put the Späetzle mixture into a well oiled baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan mixture over the top and bake for about twenty minutes, or until the top is just beginning to brown. 

Serve hot with Beethoven’s 5th.   Da, Da, Da, Daaaaa!


The English Country Kitchen


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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