Drown In It Mac and Cheese

Mac-and-Cheese-570x450 It’s comfort food personified. I love the stuff, but often find it very bland and gummy the next day. This recipe seems to solve that problem. This mac and cheese reheats better than any I’ve tried. Without too much effort you can split this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha  or other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, grated
  • 8 ounces American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the macaroni in a large saucepan and cover it with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir- ring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let stand until the pasta is barely al dente, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk, eggs, hot sauce, and mustard in a bowl until homogeneous. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Place over low heat, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add the milk mixture and cheese mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is hot and creamy. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce. Serve immediately, topping with toasted bread crumbs if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can of course add cooked bacon, sausage, jalapeños, green onions, or whatever else you might like to make this a more complete meal.

SOURCE: Serious Eats

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Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Green Chiles*

cauli Comfort food today. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? How about lightening up that carb total a bit, and spicin’ it up at the same time?

A winner for sure.

So get up and get busy in that kitchen.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 1/3-1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, broken up into fairly small flowerets.
  • 1 c elbow macaroni (or other such as small shells)
  • 1 1/2 c of milk
  • either a roux of butter and flour (1:1 ratio) generally 2 tbsp of each, or 1 tsp xantham gum.
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 large Poblano or other chile of your choice, charred, seeded, peeled and chopped.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is great)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt a large saucepan  of water and either place pasta in cold or bring to a boil first. It really doesn’t make any difference. Cook until about half way done and then add the cauliflower and continue cooking until macaroni is al dente and cauliflower is firm but pierceable with a knife fairly easily. Drain.
  2. Add the roux and milk, or add the milk to the empty saucepan, sprinkle the xantham gum on the surface and whisk, while heating until it gets bubbly and thickens.
  3. Cut up the cream cheese into bits and drop in and continue whisking until it has melted in.
  4. Add the mustard and salt and pepper and hot sauce.
  5. Add 2 c of cheese, cheddar.
  6. Add the pasta and cauliflower back in and stir until fully coated.
  7. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: you can add whatever chiles you wish and also vary the cheeses as you desire

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Cheddar Cheese Sauce

IMG_8242Oh cheddar cheese sauce, I do love thee. Let me count the ways.

Oh, well that could take all day.

What I don’t like is CheeseWiz, or that detestable crap called Velveeta. I mean the latter just tastes awful. I have tried it, I have I swear. I have thrown stuff out because it tastes like wallpaper paste with #3 yellow food coloring.

Soo.

The problem with making a traditional roux white sauce and then dumping in shredded cheddar, is that when heated, it separates into an oily mess. Very unappetizing.

But then I found this recipe, which solves that problem and makes a delightful, smooth gorgeous cheese sauce. And it’s very easy. Big plus. Do try. Perfect for homemade nachos, and daaarling, nachos must be homemade!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz cheddar cheese (I use sharp or extra sharp) shredded
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • a good shot of hot sauce (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the milk until it just comes to a boil.
  2. Take off the heat and stir in the cornstarch.
  3. Stir and return to heat until it thickens nicely.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted.
  5. Add the hot sauce and stir again.

SERVES: 2 cups

NOTES: Perfect for nachos, or over any vegetable that has been steamed crisp. Also will work beautifully with mac and cheese. You will see the difference when you reheat leftovers.

SOURCE: Serious Eats

 

 

Cheeky Cheesy Chile Rellenos

Oh lordy, if you love New Mexican cuisine, then don’t miss this recipe. It is so incredibly good that it is sinful.

It’s also a bit of mess to make.

But it’s so worth it.

If you can get hatch chiles, so much the better, but if you can’t use Anaheim. You will probably want a milder rather than hotter one. Hatch chiles vary rather dramatically because they are not all the same variety, so the Anaheim’s may be safer for those of you who don’t live in the Land of Enchantment.

But do give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 Hatch or Anaheim chile peppers
  • Pepper jack, Monterrey Jack, or a good Mexican melting cheese (8 oz) I used a Mexican melting cheese for the stuffing and a Monterrey Jack for the shredding topping.
  • 4 eggs, divided, yolks from whites
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c flour
  • Prepared chile sauce of your choice or make mine, Salsa Green Chile
  • Shredded jack
  • Oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Roast chiles on a gas stove top or under the broiler until charred on all sides. Remove to a plastic bag, closed up for at least 15 minutes or until cool enough to work with. Remove and scrape off the skins, carefully slit from the stem end down to the bottom (leaving the stem attached) are carefully remove the seeds and membranes (unless you like it really hot)
  2. Stuff with the cheese but not so full that you can’t bring the cut sides together again.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they reach a “soft peak” stage
  4. Whisk the yolks a bit and then add the egg whites, folding them in gently so that all the air isn’t deflated. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a large skillet with a good half-inch of oil. You want the temp to be around 375°.
  6. Carefully take each chile and roll in the flour, holding it closed so the cheese doesn’t fall out.
  7. Then dip it into the eggs, spooning the egg over the chile, covering it well. Holding with the stem and the end of the chile, lift carefully and place in the hot oil. (I just did two at a time). Fry until browned and then with tongs gently turn over until the other side is also browned. Remove to a cooling rack lined underneath with paper towelling to catch the drips.
  8. When all are done, place them lined up in a 9 x 13 pan. Layer with the salsa of your choice (red or green, with or without tomatillos). Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  9. Bake in a 375° oven for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is nicely melted.
  10. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, black olives– whatever you like!

Serves: 6

Notes: This recipe is from Juanita’s Cocina via Griffin’s Grub where she guest posted it. It turned out perfectly, and although as I said, it’s a bit messy to make, the taste is to die for. We ate every bit of it. You can halve this recipe easily.

 

Hot Jalapeno Pepper Dip

Well, it’s good to be back!

We are mostly moved into our new home here in Las Cruces, and I’ve been able to get into the kitchen for some simpler recipes at least, and this will be one of our favorites for sure.

There are lots of Jalapeno dip recipes around, so there is nothing earth-shattering here, but we loved it so much that we ate the whole thing in two nights. It was so good.

Eat it with tortilla chips or raw veggies. Eat it by the spoonful, or lick the dish. It’s good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise (Hellman’s is best if you want this dip hot, since it won’t separate on you)
  • 2 green chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 3 healthy TBSP of canned jalapeño slices, chopped
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small can of corn or equivalent frozen
  • 1 large fresh jalapeño

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Place the cream cheese and mayo in mixer and mix on medium until smooth
  • Add the chiles and jalapeño and mix on low until incorporated
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and the corn, and mix on low until well mixed.
  • Turn into a oven-friendly baking dish. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.
  • Slice the fresh jalapeño, and place around the top.
  • Place in oven at 350° for 20 minutes or just until it starts to bubble.

Note: this is also great at room temperature. Can be easily doubled or tripled for company. Also consider adding crumbled bacon to the top after it comes out of the oven.

Chick-Ling Spaghetti Parmesan

That’s what rich people call Chicken Tetrazzini. Or at least I imagine they call it something pretentious like that. And I like my food to have high-sounding names, so that’s what I decided upon.

And even though my recipe is “informed” by many thousands before me, I did create it, if one could be said to create a recipe after being “informed”  by many thousands. So mine, has an extra teaspoon of cheese, or a tablespoon less celery. So sue me. If you hold the patent to Chicken Tetrazzini that is.

Otherwise, read on, and try it if it seems to call to you. Not that it will actually, call. But if your stomach rumbles, I’d take that as a sign.

I love to cook in the morning, and casseroles often lend themselves to early prep and then later cooking. This one does, so if that is your thing, you’re welcome. 🙂

And do feel most free to adjust the veggie content as you desire. I am nearing the end of the month, haven’t been to the store in weeks, and have very little in the way of fresh veggies left, so I did a bunch of frozen. It is versatile in that way, as many casseroles are.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast, bone-in and split. (if you MUST buy some already cooked)
  • 1/2 lb linguine
  • 2 cups of veggies of your choice. I used celery, onion, mushrooms, lima beans, corn and peas.
  • 1/3 c roasted red peppers (I used jarred)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 c fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt and pepper the chicken, place in a roasting pan and roast at 400° for 1 hour.
  2. While that is baking, chop up your veggies and steam until fork tender, but still with a bit of bite.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and whisk for about one minute. Add warmed milk, stir, and bring to a soft boil, stirring until thickened. Add the nutmeg, and cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. When chicken is done and cooled to handle, debone, and chop into dice.
  5. Cook linguine. (I snapped the pasta in half and then each half in half so it would mix better)
  6. When all is done, drain the linguine to a large bowl, add the veggies, the roasted red pepper and chicken. Mix. When incorporated, pour the bechamel/parmesan sauce. Mix thoroughly and pour into a baking dish.
  7. Cover the top with fresh breadcrumbs and then sprinkle with melted butter (I do this right before I pop it into the oven)
  8. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes if doing continuously, for 1 hour if you have put the casserole together earlier in the morning (I leave mine on the stove)

Serves: 5-6