Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mac and Cheese

The Ultimate Mac ‘N Cheese With Peas & Bacon
Six to eight servings


• Kosher salt
• 1 pound elbow macaroni
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 4 cups warm milk
• 5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
• extra virgin olive oil
• 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed
• leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
• 2 cups frozen peas, thawed in a colander under cool water

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps form forming. Gradually whisk in the milk and, whisking vigorously, cook until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

While that going, heat a 2 count of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the bacon, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Fold in the peas and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the pea and bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking pea mixture on each spoonful.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Kate's Recipe


Velma’s/Frankie's version:
1 head of cabbage (chopped) 2-4 cups
1 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped, OR 1 can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tbls. Sugar
2 tbls corn oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place cabbage, celery, onion, red and green peppers, sugar, salt and pepper in skillet with small amount of oil in skillet.

Cook on medium heat approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Put lid on skillet, reduce temperature and simmer, covered, approximately 5-10 minutes.

Kate’s adjustments:
I always make a bigger batch; it keeps well in the frig and we like it cold, too.
I use olive oil.
We leave out the peppers, but add crushed red pepper flakes to heat it up. Do this to taste.
I use fresh tomatoes and only one.
I add Basil and Oregano (or try something different each time).
I add fresh garlic.
I use quite a bit more Splenda (sugar substitute). We like it sweet/hot!
I add about 1 cup of fat-free chicken or vegetable stock and cook it about 10 minutes, then remove the lid and reduce the liquid to concentrate the flavors.
As you can tell, the recipe is Very flexible and Very good. Try it for yourself. Enjoy!