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Fusilli, you crazy bastard…

29 Oct

We always crack up when we think of this 1994 New Yorker cartoon by Charles Barsotti. So we thought it would be a good idea to use fusilli for The Mister’s first crack at homemade mac and cheese. A little aged white cheddar, a little asiago, some fried onions and crumbled bacon et voila:

Just look at him. In the kitchen. Trying. This is going to be easy!
We used this recipe but remain confused about the ideal cheese/milk ratio, as all of our hoarded mac and cheese recipes are different.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
3 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup or more shredded asiago
pinch of nutmeg, but wish we’d used 1/2 tsp
500 grams twisty pasta

Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add butter, when bubbly, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about three minutes.

Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in two cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time.

Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce.

Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.

 

Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese
Best of Bridge Grand Slam

(try adding some bacon or ham to this)

2 1/2 cups macaroni (625 ml)

1/4 cup butter (60 ml)

1/4 cup flour (60 ml)

2 cups milk (500 ml)

1 tsp. salt (5 ml)

1 tsp. sugar (5 ml)

1/2 lb. processed cheese, cubed (250 g) (Velveeta)

2/3 cup sour cream (150 ml) (fat free is fine)

1 1/3 cups cottage cheese (325 ml)

2 cups grated old cheddar cheese (500 ml)

1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs (375 ml)

2 Tbsp. butter (30 ml)

paprika

Cook and drain macaroni and place in a 2 1/2 quart (2.5 L) greased casserole. Melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour; mix well. Add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add salt, sugar and cheese. Mix well. Mix sour cream and cottage cheese into sauce. Pour over macaroni. Mix well. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and crumbs over top. Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika. May be frozen at this point. Bake at 350F (180C) for 45-50 minutes.

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“This vibrant pasta, tossed with beet greens and creamy goat cheese, is an ode to Charles Barsotti’s 1994 New Yorker cartoon of a rigatoni noodle on the phone to a friend, exclaiming, “Fusilli, you crazy bastard!” Tarry Lodge chef Andy Nusser says, ‘Mario [Batali] and I saw the cartoon at the same time. It became the punch line to every joke.'”

Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard
Recipe by Andy Nusser
1/2 cup walnut halves
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli pasta
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 pound beet greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 pound soft goat cheese, thickly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions
1.Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the walnuts for 7 minutes, until lightly browned; let cool slightly. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.
2.Raise the oven temperature to 450°. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, until browned in spots.
3.In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, beet greens and crushed red pepper and cook, crushing the tomatoes slightly, until the greens are just wilted, 3 minutes.
4.Drain the fusilli, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta, the reserved cooking water and the sliced goat cheese to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing to coat the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the chopped toasted walnuts, top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.

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Chuckwagon Chili Mac

8 Jul

More Stampede recipes for the greatest 10 days ahead.

Spaghetti Western 3.0: Smoky bison chili topped with cheesy wagonwheel pasta.

Here’s a two-toned casserole perfect for Stampede time. Sick of beef on a bun? Can’t stomach another corn dog?
Time for chili mac, Stampede style. This would look smashing on a buffet table with a crisp green salad and a grilled vegetable platter. Our beloved GR is the inspiration.
The chili should be sparse and saucy, like a curry. Redolent with smoked paprika, cocoa, coffee. Deep tomato and bison flavour. Bean-free, thank you very much. Then, a sophisticated fondue-napped pasta top.

CHUCKWAGON CHILI MAC
adapted and inspired by patentandthepantry.com
Pasta and cheese:

500 grams wagonwheel-shaped pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
5 cups grated cheese
3 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. As the pasta boils, start on the cheese sauce. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a pot. When frothy and bubbling, add flour and mix until well blended. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. After it has thickened slightly, add 4 cups of the grated cheese. Stir until melted, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Top with cheese sauce and mix together.

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Layer chili in the base of casserole dish. Top with macaroni and cheese and then sprinkle over remaining one cup of cheese. Bake covered for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of your casserole dish). Remove lid and bake another 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling on top.

Graduation party casseroles

16 Jun

Keep your shirts on — there’s not a tater tot or cream of mushroom soup can anywhere near these.


MEATLOVERS PIZZA CASSEROLE

adapted from cully’s kitchen
1 lb bow tie pasta
1 lb mild italian sausage
1 large onion, medium size chopped
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (mushroom and garlic)
1 lb cubed cooked ham
1/2-1 lb of sliced pepperoni
3 (8 ounce) bags of shredded mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Cook pasta in boiling water until al denté.
Cook sausage, garlic powder and oregano with onions until the juices run clear. Add green pepper.
In a lightly greased 9×13×3 inch pan, pour a small amount of sauce to lightly coat bottom.
Layer ingredients in the order listed below.
1st layer-1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, sausage and onions.
2nd layer-1/2 of the remaining pasta, 1/2 remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, ham.
3rd layer-all remaining pasta, all remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, all the pepperoni(completely covering the entire top with pepperoni).
Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE
lo carb cafe claims this tastes like a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Don’t know if that’s praise or criticism.

1 lb of hamburger
1 tomato, chopped
half an onion, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
Two dill pickles, chopped
four slices of American cheese

Cook onion and brown beef until no longer pink.
Add tomato, cook for a few minutes. Add crumbled bacon and pickles.
Remove from heat and add half a cup of the shredded cheese, mixing thoroughly.
Pour mixture into small casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top.
Top that with four squares of cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese slices brown.
Serve with shredded lettuce and a dollop of Thousand Island dressing.

Tea and Sympathy

8 Jan

It’s painful to watch grieving loved ones in despair. You can offer solemn words and hugs, but we sometimes struggle trying to find the right way to let them feel supported. No matter if someone’s lost a loved one, a special pet, a job, a romance — food helps. Nothing too spicy or sophisticated — think mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes and ham.

The following homey classics aren’t sophisticated, but they’re in regular church ladies’ rotation for a reason: they are comforting, uncomplicated, and always appreciated.
If you’re really on your game, give someone you care about a food hug.
UPDATE: SEE NEW KING RANCH CASSEROLE VERSION AT BOTTOM!
UPDATE: church lady casserole a.k.a Peas Be With You!

JANICE BEATON’S MAC AND CHEESE

An 8 oz or 240 g block of cheese yields approximately 2 cups (500 mL) of grated cheese.

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onions

1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic

6 tbsp (90 mL) flour

4 cups (1 L) hot milk

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne

2 cups (500 mL) grated cheese (Janice says mix one cup of Gruyère or aged gouda cheese with one cup of old cheddar, edam or crumbled blue cheese)

1 pkg of penne (1 lb or 500 g)

1/2 cup (125 mL) coarse breadcrumbs

Bring 5 quarts (5 L) of water to a boil in a large pot.

In the meantime, saute the onion and garlic in butter over medium heat for five minutes (without browning). Add flour and cook (this mixture is called a roux) for approximately 10 minutes over low heat. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, along with the mustard and cayenne, to make a bechamel (white) sauce. Cook bechamel for 15 minutes over medium low heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Cook the pasta for approximately 13 minutes in rapidly boiling water. The pasta should be cooked less than al dente, as baking time in the oven will cook it further. Drain.

Add half of the cheese to the bechamel and stir until the mixture is homogenous. Add the pasta and mix just until blended. Place one-third of the pasta/sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch (23 by 33 cm, 3.5 L) pan. Sprinkle with half the remaining cheese. Add another one third of the pasta and top with the rest of the grated cheese. Layer the last portion of pasta over this and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake, covered (aluminum foil will do), for 35 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degreesF (200 degrees C), remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, until the pasta is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are browned. Let stand for five minutes, cut and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

BEEF SOUR CREAM NOODLE BAKE

2 pounds lean ground beef

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pound cottage cheese

Minced green pepper

1/3 cup choped green onion

1/2 cup grated swiss cheese

2 cups tomato sauce

8 ounce package of egg noodles

In a large pan, cook noodles in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain & set aside. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Add onion and peppers. Set aside. Brown ground beef & drain any fat. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce to ground beef. Grease 9 x 13 inch cake pan or casserole dish, and arrange the following layers: Noodles, cheese mixture, meat mixture – then repeat. Top with grated Swiss cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

KING RANCH CHICKEN CASSEROLE

You don’t want to offer anything too spicy or exotic, but this has a cheesy, creamy, comfort. Great picture here.

Note: If you can’t find Ro-Tel tomatoes, substitute one 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and one 4-ounce can chopped green chiles. Cojack is a creamy blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses. Jack cheese can be used in its place.
KING RANCH CASSEROLE
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 jalapeno chiles, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes (see note)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
4 cups shredded Cojack cheese (see note)
Salt and pepper
2¼ cups Fritos corn chips, crushed

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Lay tortillas on two baking sheets, lightly coat both sides with cooking spray, and bake until slightly crisp and browned, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then break into bite-sized pieces. Using potholders, adjust top oven rack to middle position.

2. Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onions, chiles, and cumin until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add cream and broth, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Off heat, add cilantro and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Scatter half of tortilla pieces in 13 by 9-inch baking dish set over rimmed baking sheet. Spoon half of filling evenly over tortillas. Scatter remaining tortillas over filling, then top with remaining filling.

4. Bake until filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle Fritos evenly over top and bake until Fritos are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool casserole 10 minutes. Serve.

To make ahead: The casserole can be assembled through step 3 and refrigerated for up to 1 day. When ready to serve, cover casserole with foil and bake until filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with Fritos, and proceed with rest of step 4 as directed