Tag Archives: Cheddar

Stove Top Mac And Cheese

20 Dec

The first actual snowfall is happening right now in Boston and I’m wishing I made this stove top mac and cheese for dinner. Not that my dinner wasn’t delicious (it was) but there’s nothing like good old fashioned comfort food when it’s snowing outside and you want to hunker down on your couch and watch a hot serial killer for the rest of the night (Dexter anyone? ::Swoon::)

Enough about hot serial killers, let’s talk epic battle between baked and stove top mac and cheese. Each are so delicious, yet so different. I find myself preferring baked when I go out to restaurants, but at home, stove top all the way. There’s just an extra gooey factor that you can’t get as much with baked as you can with stove top.

I added a little zing to this mac and cheese by adding some chopped chorizo, and I think it really pulled everything together. Is it snowing where you are? Then make this mac and cheese. You’ll thank me later.

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

  • 1 cup chopped chorizo
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim), warmed
  • 1 package pasta of your choice (I used Rotelle)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put pasta back in pot.

In a small sauce pan bring together the butter and flour until thickened about 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the warmed milk and half and half, stirring constantly. Stir constantly until incorporated and heated thru, an additional 3-4 minutes. Turn the pot of pasta on medium heat. Add the milk mixture to the pasta and stir.

Add cheese. Stir until cheese has melted completely and has been incorporated with the pasta. Add the chorizo and stir occasionally  until everything is heated thru, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Your Turn! Which do you prefer, stove top or baked mac and cheese?

Old Fashioned Pierogi

22 Nov

Wikipedia just told me that sour cream is served with sweet perogi while savory pierogi are served with bacon fat or bacon bits. I knew it was a good idea to marry a Polish boy. I asked said boy one weekend that I wanted to make pierogi. His eyes lit up like it was Christmas. I asked him what kind he wanted.

“Cheese.”

“Anything else?”

“No.”

“Oh, ok.”

Yeeeeeeeeeeah.

I was surprised at how easy they were to make. I was scared for some reason that they wouldn’t come out right, but I get scared a lot when I cook or bake.

Traditional Potato & Cheese Pierogi

Source Recipe Here

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water

Filling:

  • 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (I didn’t peel them in this recipe and I should have. Whoops)
  • 3oz (or more, I’m not looking, promise) grated cheddar cheese
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried chives

To make dough combine flour and salt. Add beaten eggs and water. Mix dough until it comes together and can form a ball. Wrap ball in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Hello Mr. Dough Ball

Next, make the filling. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash with grated cheese, chives and salt/pepper. Take a big spoonful and immediately consume. Add more cheese. Lots of cheese.

Try not to eat all of it

Here comes the fun part. If you have a Polish (or Eastern European) husband, make sure he helps you with this part. Generously flour a cutting board or counter top with flour. Roll ball of dough into a cylinder. Cut it in half and roll them both out so you can make 12 dough balls from each cylinder. Just keep cutting the dough in half until you do that.

Pillowy goodness

Flatten the little dough balls with the palm of your hand. Husband can do this part. Then, using your fingers, spread the dough out, like you’re making a mini pizza. Repeat with all the dough balls. Then place an extra large tablespoon of the potato mixture and place in the middle of your mini pizza. Fold pierogi in half and using a fork crimp the edges. It’s ok if some of the mixture leaks out, it’s not fragile like other types of dumplings.

 

To cook the pierogi bring a big pot of boiling water to boil. Again, spousal support is needed here. Place saute pan on another burner and add a lot of butter to the pan. Boil 4-5 pierogi in water until they float to the surface then place in the saute pan and cook on both sides until golden deliciousness. Repeat with the rest.

Serve with some sauteed onions and in this case, German mustard. Bacon fat optional.

Daring Cook’s: Souffle Time

14 Nov

My first foray with foamy egg whites ended in disaster. So much disaster that I basically had to throw away a bunch of failed egg whites. So when I found out that this month’s Daring Cook’s challenge involved making a souffle let’s say I wasn’t excited. However, I was determined to not let it happen this time.

So let’s just say when I saw this:

I win this time egg whites

I may have pranced around the house yelling, “I DID IT! I DID IT!”

I decided to do a savory souffle instead of a sweet one and found a good reference for figuring out how to make a souffle from here: http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-souffle

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

Ham & Cheddar Souffle

  • 1 cup ham, sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 3 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

First we’ll need to make the souffle base. Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add the flour. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes. Heat milk in a separate pan or put in microwave for 2 minutes. Add milk to flour/butter mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for a few more minutes, until thick.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks together. Add a small amount of the flour mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Then pour the egg mixture back into the flour mixture. Add the ham/cheddar/chives into the sauce.

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment add the egg white and beat on medium high speed. Once small peaks start forming add the cream of tartar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Slowly fold in the egg whites into the egg mixture until fully incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350. I used 4 mini souffle ramekins as well as a large muffin tin for the souffle. Spray and flour the ramekins/tin. Pour even amount of mixture into the tins, making sure not to overfill as you need to give some space for the souffle to rise. Bake until puffy and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.

The souffles will start deflating almost immediately, so if you planning on serving the souffles to guests, make sure to get it out of there ASAP.

I was really happy with the way this turned out. It made me more confident about dealing with foamed egg whites that I don’t think I’ll be scared to try out more recipes for stiff peaks. Lemon meringue anyone?

 

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