Monday, May 24, 2010

Mac 'n Cheese

Ok, ok, I know. Mac 'n Cheese?! But it's one of Ryan's favorite meals, so I scoured the internet looking for a recipe and came up with this from - a must for anyone that cooks. I noted my changes:

1 pound of pasta cooked and ready to go.
12 oz shredded cheddar ( I used sharp, medium or mild would do better.)
4 oz shredded provolone (I used monterey jack, but I think I'll go with provolone next time to see if it makes a difference.)
1 oz (about 5 - 6 Tab) shredded parmesan - must be the real deal.
1 teaspoon herbes de provence - found at your local grocery store.
3/4 C panko bread crumbs
2 Tab oil
1 quart milk
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 C + 2 Tab flour
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper (I'd have used maybe a 1/4 teaspoon next time.)
2 cloves of garlic - I used powdered, but next time I'd use the real deal.
12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half or fourths.

Ok, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring for a few minutes. Add quart of milk all at once plus the garlic and cayenne pepper and stir until boiling and thickens into a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste and the cheddar and provolone. Stir in pasta.
Mix together the parmesan, the oil and the panko crumbs, set aside.
Butter 6 ramekins or 2 -3 bread pans. Fill up with pasta, sprinkle with parmesan mixture and top with tomatoes. Bake at 35o for about 20 mintues or until the parmesan is getting browned and the juices are bubbly.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

I don't know if any of you have been to Zupa's but I LOVE LOVE LOVE their cauliflower soup. We had some cauliflower that was within days of going bad so I did some searching and tried out a recipe that I think comes "kind of" close. They probably use real Wisconsin cheese but I just used sharp chedder.

2 T butter
1 medium onion, chopped (I used a white onion because I felt the flavor of a yellow onion would be too strong)
1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 c milk
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 t dijon mustard
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1) In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and cook until golden (about 10 minutes) stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2 minutes stirring frequently.

2) Gradually stir in chicken broth, milk, and 1 1/2 c water (add the broth first so you don't scald the milk on the hot saucepan); add cauliflower and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until the cauliflower is tender (about 10 minutes).

3) In a blender, blend the cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth.
(it's smart to do this in small batches so you can remove the center cover of your blender to let some steam escape)

4) Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat until steamy hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard (with a whisk!) and 1 1/2 c cheese until melted and smooth. (if you add the cheese while the saucepan is still over heat it can make the cheese stringy) Garnish soup with remaining cheese to serve.

When I make this again I think I will substitute some of the cheddar cheese with pepperjack cheese to give it some "kick". We ate it with some french bread and it was so so yummy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Zucchini Carbonara

Made this zucchini carbonara awhile ago. The pieces of bacon and the zucchini is a very tasty combination! Don't be afraid to use all of the bacon in the recipe! Go HERE to check it out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gary Beck's Crab Salad

If I had a restaurant, I'd put this on the menu. If you like crab, you're going to love this. We had some leftover crab from another dinner, and Brian asked me to get the recipe of the crab salad my Dad made us once upon a summer day. 
And it is EASY! And fast! And healthy! Yahoo!

Mix your fresh crab meat with:
1-2 T mayo
1-2 T sour cream
1-2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 T crisp celery diced

Mix it up until it looks like the consistency of a tuna salad and the like. Taste before serving to see if you need more of something. Pile on top of a green salad. Oh the goodness.
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