Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

September 24, 2008

My friend Megan brought this mac and cheese over for a football party.  She found it on Recipe Zaar and tweaked it by adding Gouda cheese, mustard powder, and garlic powder.  It was OMG good.  Just don’t look at the nutritional content…

Fannie Farmer’s Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
From the 1946 edition of “Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook”

Serves 4:
1 (8 ounce) package macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Gouda
1/2 cup buttered breadcrumbs (we just used the Italian-style, although Megan and I agreed it would be AWESOME with panko breadcrumbs)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter.
  4. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, and a generous pinch of garlic and mustard powders.  Using a whisk, stir until well blended.
  5. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
  6. Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
  7. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  8. Turn off the burner.  Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
  9. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salad

July 8, 2008

This is another Real Simple recipe that I tweaked…and it was great AND easy AND quick – the trifecta of my cooking technique!

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Mozzarella Salad

1 6.5-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (I also fudged this a little – I just poured in what I thought looked right – probably closer to 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (I omitted this because I was in a hurry and didn’t have thyme – Hardy Har)
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Grape, cherry, or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces.  Really you can use any tomatoes – this is a summer standby for me and I particularly love it with heirloom cherry tomatoes, but that makes it one expensive side dish!
1 fresh mozzarella ball, cut into bite-size pieces

8 baguette slices, toasted (optional) (We served this on the side and buttered)

Mix the artichokes, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme in a small bowl.

Cut a 2-inch pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast – I was able to stuff the mixture in the “pocket” created by  the natural separation of the chicken breast. Stuff a quarter of the artichoke mixture into each pocket. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium. Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes per side.  I put a lid on over the chicken because I’m paranoid about cooking chicken properly, and it actually turned out just slightly overdone – try covering the pan just half of the time per side to keep it hot and moist, but not overdoing it.  I used tongs AND a spatula when turning the chicken in order to keep the stuffing inside the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, put the tomato and mozzarella in a large mixing bowl and give it a few turns of olive oil and a  healthy splash of salt.  Mix this together – it’s easiest to use your hands to turn the salad, but you’ll get olive oil all over them, so have a sink and soap nearby and working!  If the tomatoes were room temperature when you prepared them, put the salad in the fridge while your chicken finishes cooking just to make it a little cool – not cold!

I was actually surprised how good this chicken was.  It’s pretty healthy (actually listed as “heart healthy” in Real Simple, although they didn’t make their tomato salad with mozzarella…whatever, Dude.)  The flavor was awesome and it’s on the “favorites” list at home!