Tag Archives: cheese

Mac and Cheese

Arg.

Winter is not over. I thought it might be but I was mislead.

It looks like we’ve already had about 7 inches of snow fall today … and it shows no signs of stopping.  Some reports are predicting up to 15 inches. It will likely be the snowiest winter since 1891. Whoa. And I decided to live here for it. What was I thinking?

(Good thing I have another trip to Florida next weekend)

So it’s back to my comfort food.

Ultra-cheesy carbohydrates aka Mac and Cheese. Perhaps my favorite dish ever (this time I mean it).

This time I made it with three cheeses: Cheddar, Gruyere and Asiago.

I mean how could this not make you feel better?

This recipe is almost exactly how I learned it from my mother when I was young. I’ve modified it slightly with the addition of garlic salt and cayenne pepper and sometimes different combinations of cheese.

Best Mac and Cheese Ever

Start by melting 3 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-low heat. (What I love about this recipe is that the sauce is super easy to scale: equal parts butter and flour (in tablespoons) and the equivalent number of cups of milk).

Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour.

Now season with some garlic salt.

And a dash of cayenne pepper.

Whisk in 3 cups milk.

And cook until sauce thickens.

Add about 3/4 of ALL the shredded cheese. (I really have no idea how much cheese this is in total – see photo above.)

The cheddar.

The gruyere.

And the asiago.

Make sure you leave a little so you can top off you dish.

Take off the heat and stir to melt the cheese.

Now, drain your cooked elbow macaroni noodles (about 1/2 a pound).

And put in an oven-proof casserole dish.  Add the cheese sauce.

And top with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

I think I make this at least 2 or 3 times a month …

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Food Porn I

Roasted cayenne spiced butternut squash , candied walnuts, gorganzola cheese atop arugula dressed with a red wine vinaigrette.

‘Nuff said.

Comfort Food

Okay.  So you all know that it’s cold here.  It’s about all I think about these days.  I think I may have found at least one comfort in these temps that don’t quite reach zero.  Food.  And not just any kind of food.  The kind of food that feeds your soul and wraps around you to give you a hug when you are cold and lonely (not to mention it will settle down around your hips, but I am choosing to think of that as insulation).

In this case, it centers around cheese and carbohydrates (my third favorite C, chocolate, will be featured in my next post).  Baked potato soup and garlic cheese breadsticks.

I am starting with the cheese bread.  Earlier in the week I attempted to make some cinnamon rolls and while they tasted pretty good, they failed to rise, and I was determined to master the art of yeast dough (after all, I have been using baker’s yeast in my laboratory experiments for years now).  I found a recipe in The Joy of Cooking.  I would have halved the recipe (as it makes a LOT of dough) but was unsure of how to split the one egg…

Garlic-cheese breadsticks

In a pot, add 1 1/2 cups of whole milk.

Warm up enough to dissolve 1/3 cup sugar.

And melt 1/4 cup of butter.

Add 1 T salt.

Let cool.

Meanwhile, dissolve 4 1/2 tsp. of active dry yeast in 1/2 cup of hot water (100 – 115 degrees) in a large bowl for 3-5 minutes.  I think this is were I went wrong with the cinnamon rolls – I don’t think I warmed my yeast enough.

Add the cooled milk mixture.

Beat in 1 egg.

And 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese.

Beat in 3 cups of flour until well blended.

Continue to add flour 1 cup at a time until dough leaves the sides of the bowl.  I added an additional 2 1/2 cups.

Knead dough for about 10 minutes.  (Thank you dough hook!)

Cover with a towel and let dough rise until it is doubled in size.

Punch down and roll out into ~1/2 inch strips.  Twist 2 strips together to form breadsticks*.

Cover and let rise again.

Brush with melted butter.  Sprinkle garlic salt and parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

*This recipe makes way too much dough.  I only made one pan of breadsticks and formed the remaining dough into a loaf and baked for about half and hour.  I wrapped it up and stuck it away in my freezer).

Baked Potato Soup

I have been dreaming of baked potato soup for quite some time now.  I found this recipe in Cooking Light, but decided to use the full fat versions of milk, cheese and sour cream – because food is infinitely better in it’s full fat state.

Start with some potatoes.

Pierce them and bake for 45-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry up some bacon and set aside.

Once the potatoes are baked, peel and slightly mash them in a bowl.

Now, get a pot and add 1/2 cup flour.

Whisk in 4 cups whole milk until nice and smooth.

Cook on medium heat until nice and thick, about 8 minutes.

Add the mashed potatoes, and some cheddar cheese,

2/3 cup of chopped green onions,

and about 3/4 cup of sour cream.

Salt and pepper to taste. Combine and cook until heated through.

Top with more cheese, green onions and bacon.

Just about perfect.

Only Scott could warm my heart more.