Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mac & Cheese and Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes

Oh goodness! I hope you're hungry! These 2 recipes are very rich and full of calories, but so yummy!

Gourmet Mac and Cheese - I got this one from Giada( ya know, the boob lady on food network) but have made a few changes or have a few subsitutes. I have always made this with baby swiss because the stores out here did not carry fontina. After a few requests to the manager and deli ladies, I was so excited to find our new item the other day. But I was so excited, I did not look at the price tag. Got home and as I was preparing my new found cheese, discovered it cost me $21.99 for 1 pound! WHAT? Are you kidding me? So next time I will use the baby swiss. Just as good and doesn't cause fainting.

Butter, for greasing dish
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (packed) grated Fontina ( or baby swiss!)
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan
3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella
4 ounces cooked ham, diced, optional
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Now for the Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes - These are awesome! Easy prep, easy ingriedients and perfect if you are using your oven for another dish. A bit buttery, but I think next time I make them I may try to fix that hazard... or not.

6 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 pound Medium Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
chopped parsley

Spray Crock Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Layer potatoes and onions and cheeses alternately in about 4 layers. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. When completely melted, add flour and mix well. Then add milk, mixing well. Heat for another minute, then remove from flame. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture over potato and cheese layers in the Crock Pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, until potatoes are tender. If you cut your potatoes too thick, it will take longer. Sprinkle top with parsley for presentation and color.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thinking of more recipes to post

I have several more delicious recipes I want to post, but I want a picture of my finished dish to show you and post with the recipe, so I will have to wait and do one at a time over time. But I did want to give you a list of dishes I intend on making. Shout out which one I should make first. And remember, these are mostly easy to do recipes that taste great and anyone can do. I have spent many hours watching foodnetwork, getting tips from my Mom, and just experimenting in my own kitchen. My daughter even makes me commentate when I'm cooking, explaining every move like on TV. And of course, my kids have crowned themselves the judges.

Here's a few...

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Ham
Chicken Enchiladas
Jalapeno poppers
Scalloped Crock Pot Potatoes
Potato Salad

Yeah!!!! Cowboys just won!!! Ce...lebrate good times, c'mon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Spicy Chili!!!

Here's a recipe for my spicy, yummy chili. So easy, just let it simmer in the crock pot for 4-6 hours on high.

1 can light red kidney beans

1 can butter beans

1 can black beans

3 cans Stagg chili Dynamite Hot, ignited by Habanero Peppers

1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef

2 packets McCormick Chili seasoning, HOT

1 jar(16 oz) 505 Green Chili Sauce

1 can(29 oz) Tomato sauce

Onion - diced

Cheddar cheese - shredded

optional: jalapenos - diced

Brown ground beef with some garlic powder, drain fat and add to crock pot. Add beans, green chili sauce, tomato sauce and chili seasoning. Also add jalapenos if desired. Stir and cook on high for 4-6 hours. I like the onions to be crunchy in my chili, so I add them when I am ready to serve. Sprinkle with cheese. Eat with a big slice of sourdough bread with butter and Enjoy!

Homemade Fresh Salsa

So I got tired of store bought salsa, and wanted to try to make my own. Most salsas seemed to have too much vinegar in there or something and I was missing the fresh taste. So here's what I came up with. My husband loves it. It is easy and fast to make, just make sure you have fresh, ripe ingredients. This is not a chunky salsa. And if you want it hotter, add in a Serrano pepper to the food processor.

8 vine ripe tomatoes - quartered

2 jalapenos - just cut the top off, keep the seeds in!

3 cloves of garlic - rough chop

juice of 1 lime

1 medium onion - diced

2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1/2 cup cilantro - chopped

salt and pepper

In a food processor, combine tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic and lime juice. Blend. In a skillet, heat oil and saute onions til translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomato mixture and simmer, reducing it by about half. Let cool and then add in cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!