Tag Archives: macaroni and cheese

Brussels sprouts three cheese and pasta


How many of you read the title of a recipe and make a final decision right there to read on or pass. I will admit I tend to steer clear of a few key words myself. My pass words usually are mushroom, tofu and  peach. I get grief all the time for how much I hate even the smell of peaches. I have poured out wine that tasted too much like it, I do buy them for my husband and if he leaves them too long in the fruit bowl; which sits on the island: I offer to pay him to eat them that day only because the smell is killing me.

This has sparked a conversation since I am sitting at the island writing this talking with my husband and daughter. My husbands first thought was Anise, bourbon and ghost pepper. My daughter said her three would be jelly fish tentacles LOL she said she would NEVER do that again; she was living in Japan and she was at a luncheon and it was ordered for her party. Okra was mentioned and then she said she basically looks at the picture and figures if it looks good she could adjust if something was listed she didn’t have or didn’t like. Sounds like she is more open to read on then even me. Which is probably why we have had the recipe I am going share with you today several times. Not sure if I would read on if I saw this but I hope you are more evolved than I am.

My son and daughter-in-law came down because my husband was making omelets. Out of the five of us he is the ONLY one that cane make a true chef worthy omelet. I won’t make them if anyone is home, I would just embarrass myself.  Anyway I asked them if they wanted to be apart of my blog today. Here is how the conversation when. My sons pass words would be anything to do with peppers, quinoa and the word vegan. My daughter-in-law was also peppers, seafood and anything that smells like licorice and she doesn’t like tarragon.

brussels sprouts three cheese and pasta

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box pasta twisty pasta cavatelli or gemelli
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups brussels sprouts thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon zested first then juiced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 brick gruyere finely grated/shredded
  • 1 brick fontina finely grated/shredded

Instructions
 

Pasta

  • cook according to the instructions on the box minus 2 minutes for al dente. Drain and set aside.

brussels

  • heat the olive oil in a large skillet or use the pasta pot. Once the oil is hot add the garlic, careful not to burn; for a few seconds then add the sprouts. Season well with salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes. You want the sprouts still green and slightly wilted.
  • Add the lemon zest, stir to blend. Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir till melted. Sprinkle the flour in the stir until you no longer see it. Add the broth the stirring constantly until all the broth is added. simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the cooked pasta. Stir to blended; add most of the cheese; you want some for the top, taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
  • pre-heat oven to 400' F and cooking spray or butter a 2 quart baking dish, Add the mixture to the dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is browned.

Macaroni & “Cheese” butternut squash

I mentioned a bit ago that I heard you could make a pretty decent macaroni and cheese using butternut squash. A few years ago I would have told you you were crazy. Now I am coming around; so much so I tried it. I looked around the internet for a few recipes but decided to make my usual one and replace most of the cheese with the butternut squash. I was still a little skeptical but what was there to lose?
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I will advise you that if you are going to have your family or anyone for that matter try your new recipe I would not tell them what was in it.  I find that if you tell them it’s different or lighter or different in anyway, their senses are on high alert and they are sure to find or even look for something different with it.
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Case in point; my husband was home when I was making my lighter macaroni and cheese and when it was finished I just brought over a fork full and gave him a bite. First reaction was “mmmm good” I had to ask him what he thought it was. He looked at me a little funny and said “macaroni and cheese” but I think my comment made him add “of some sort” I had to confess it was made with squash and very little cheese. Oh and I also used rotini that was made from Chickpeas.  If you haven’t tried chickpea pasta I really think you will be pleasantly surprised. I have made 2 dishes with great success.

You might be thinking why chickpea pasta it has less carbs than average pasta, more protein and more fiber. So it is just a little better for you than ordinary box pasta. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any at either of my local stores my boxes were bought by my daughter when she visited one of Mario Batali’s Eataly. Looks like I will have to go and check it out.

Macaroni and “Cheese”

Small onion – diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 pounds cubed butternut squash – I used frozen
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
box of chickpea pasta
4 ounce gruyere cheese – grated
few drops sriracha sauce
Parmesan cheese – a small amount for grating on top
1/4 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

saute onion for a couple of minutes in the olive oil.  Add garlic saute another minute. add mustard, nutmeg, butternut squash, stock and milk still squash is softened.
Remove from the heat and using either a stick blender or however you puree your soups. puree the mixture and then add the cheese, season with salt and pepper to your taste.
place in a baking dish and grate some Parmesan cheese and a little seasoned panko bread crumbs.

Per 11 ounce serving
215 Calories – 12g Fat – 14g Carbs – 16g Protein  

 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese comfort food simple and delicious

As you are reading this my husband and I are in Key West FL for good friends of ours wedding.  My son is home taking care of the house, dog and my husband’s construction business. While I know he will never go hungry I still wanted to make sure he didn’t survive on takeout pizza.  He must have been thinking the same thing as he asked me if I would teach him how to make a few dishes.  The funny part of this is we both were thinking the same dishes. So Sunday morning we made chili, shepherd’s pie, lasagna and macaroni and cheese. All can be frozen and keep really well – we packaged them up into small meals for him.

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When making this many different dishes you really want to make the most of prep and cooking so you don’t spend the rest of the day doing dishes.

We used one pot to cook the meat one meal at a time and set aside. We browned the burger for the pie, sausage for the lasagna and the burger, sausage and ground turkey for the chili. We cooked the pasta as directed on the box for the mac and cheese then use the same pot for the potatoes, rinsed and wiped it out so we could use it for the sauce for the lasagna. We diced and sliced the onions and garlic for all the dishes and then the veggies and set aside. I bet we had all dishes made and assembled in about 2.5 hours and all but 1 pot fit in the dishwasher. It was a very successful morning.

While I do use the internet and magazines to find recipes to try I know they are just a starting point, there are so many ways you can take a recipe to make it to you and your families tastes.  Everybody’s shepherd’s pies is a little different; I use creamed and niblet corn to add moisture. I know of a family the use pre-bought gravy to add moisture to theirs. There is nothing like good homemade comfort food.

Easy Mac and Cheese that has great flavor and comes together quickly

1 small onion diced very small

4 tbs. Butter

4 tbs. Flour

2 cups milk

1 box elbow macaroni or other small pasta

4-6 cups shredded cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, Provolone your favorite combination works here

3-4 slices American cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

In salted water cook the pasta according to the direction on the box; drain and set aside. In a sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat, add the onions and cook to translucent about 3 minutes. Add flour stirring to mix.  Let cook about 2 minutes, it helps remove the flour taste. Using a whisk add the milk all at once. Whisk thoroughly till all incorporated.  Let this thicken on low heat, do not boil just simmer and stir frequently.  Remove from the heat and add all the cheese.  Lightly stir to incorporate.  Add the cooked pasta and salt and pepper to taste.  If you chop the onions small enough the kids won’t even know they are there.

Eat as is or bake for 15 minutes in a 350’ oven.  Add a crumb top or not – whatever is your preference