Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fancy Schmancy Mac-N-Cheese


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish (1 stick)
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces ((good quality))
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
4-1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 oz.)
2 cups grated Gruyere (about 8 oz.)
grated pecorino romano cheese (about 5 oz.)
1 lb elbow macaroni


1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter.
4. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss; set the bread crumbs aside.
5. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat the milk.
6 .Melt remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour.
7. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. While whisking, slowly our in hot milk.
8. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
9. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cup cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil.
10. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 min. less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of the pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.
11. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Pour mixture into prepared dish.
12. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and bread crumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, 30-60 minutes.
13. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 min.; serve.

Recipe compliments of the amazing April.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pignoli (Italian Cookies)


1 pound almond paste
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 egg whites
3 cups pine nuts


— Break the almond paste into pieces and place in a mixing bowl with the sugar.
— Use a mixer to crumble the paste and sugar until evenly combined.
— In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
— Gradually fold the egg whites into the almond mixture.
— Place the nuts in a shallow bowl.
— Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and press each ball into the nuts, gently turning to coat evenly.
— Place on a buttered baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart.
— Bake 15 minutes or so in a preheated 350 degree oven, until light golden in color.
— Allow to cool 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a rack.
— Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 servings.

This amazing recipe is compliments of Mary Alice M.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mom's Pea Salad


10oz fresh or frozen peas
1c. sliced celery
1/4c. diced green onion
1c. chopped cauliflower
1c. nuts or seeds
1/4c. crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2c. sour cream
1c. prepared ranch dressing
1/2tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced


— Rinse peas in hot water to thaw (steam, if fresh), drain.
— Combine vegetables, nuts and bacon with sour cream.
— Mix dressing, mustard & garlic together and pour over salad.
— Toss gently and chill.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Enchiladas Verdes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, in medium dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 teaspoons oil
Crushed oregano
12 corn tortillas
Cooking spray
2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans Stokes Green Chili Sauce with Pork

— Poach chicken breasts in chicken stock for 30-45 minutes, or until cooked through.
— Remove chicken from poaching liquid. Cut into large chunks and chill in a medium bowl in the refrigerator. Reserve 1 cup of liquid.
— Using the same pot used to cook the chicken, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil, and add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.
— Remove chicken from refrigerator and shred into the onion mixture. Stir in the reserved poaching liquid. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. The chicken should remain fairly moist.
— Return the chicken mixture to the bowl and place in refrigerator.
— Heat both cans of chili sauce in the same pan used to cook the chicken.
— Preheat the oven to 350F.
— Place six corn tortillas on a double layer of aluminum foil and coat both sides with cooking spray or oil. Warm in the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
— Remove chicken mixture from the refrigerator and stir in a ¼ cup of chili sauce and 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese.
— Spray a 13x9” pan with cooking spray, and spread ¾ cup of chili sauce on the bottom of the pan.
— Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of chicken mixture, roll, and place in pan with seam side down.
— Pour remaining chili sauce over the enchiladas, and top with cheese. Cover pan with foil, and bake at 450F for 20 minutes. Uncover pan and bake for another 10 minutes, or until bubbly and slightly browned.