Bad Ass Mac & Cheese

Sometimes you just have to kick it up a notch, and this mac and cheese recipe does just that. It has a little bit of chedda, some truffle oil (YES! Bc we’re still obsessed with it), some bacon, and it has some…wait for it…whiskey. If this isn’t a bad ass, mans-man mac and cheese then I don’t know what is.

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp truffle oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half 
  • 1 tbsp whiskey (I used a little Jack)

Topping

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Cook the macaroni to your liking and drain. (I prefer al dente.). Add the macaroni back in to the pot and mix in the truffle oil, basil, salt, and pepper. While the pasta is cooking you can start on the sauce. But before you do, turn on your broiler to high.

Using a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the bacon, garlic, and thyme. Add in the flour, half & half, and whiskey and bring it to a boil. After roughly 3 minutes of stirring, reduce to a simmer and add in 2 1/2 cups of the cheddar, mixing until sauce thickens. Then pour it over that delicious smelling truffle macaroni and mix until it’s fully coated. On to the topping. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 a cup cheddar cheese and melted butter. Oil up your ramekins (I used eight 8oz ones) or a baking dish and distribute the macaroni. Sprinkle on the topping and a dash of fresh basil for some color.

Broil the dish for about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as you don’t want it to burn.

 Truffled Mac & Cheese

Happy Eating, XO.

 

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Casual Broccoli Chicken Divan

With this recipe, it’s all about the laziness of layering and keeping it casual. It’s a quick and easy recipe to throw together on a Tuesday night, when you’re really not in the mood to cook. Not that I’m speaking from experience…

  • 1 pound chopped and cooked broccoli
  • 2 cubed and cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of broccoli soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

To start, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and cook the broccoli and chicken. In a bowl combine the soup and milk. Layer the broccoli and chicken and pour the soup mix over the two. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Mix the bread crumbs and butter (I tend to eyeball how much to use) and sprinkle them on top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. I like to serve over white rice, but feel free to get creative – it can be a really diverse dish! Broccoli Chicken Divan Happy Eating, XO

Soup from scratch

Broccoli cheddar soup is my sister’s favorite. Panera is definitely better than the canned stuff, but why not save yourself the outing & make some at home? Plus, now that winter is knocking on our doors, its safe to say its soup season! Sick or not, this will make you feel all sorts of good on the inside. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that its super fast & super easy. (Read: No emersion blenders need). Toast up a baguette & enjoy.

  • 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable if you are trying to keep this vegetarian)
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets (fresh or frozen doesn’t matter)
  • 1 small white onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can evaporated milk (much healthier than heavy cream)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (either do it yourself or get the Kraft kind. Either way sharp is the way to go- it has more flavor).

Create a roux (fancy French word alert!) beforehand by heating 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour together in the saucepan, and stirring them for a minute until the flour is cooked and slightly golden. Then whisk in the chicken stock, and then add broccoli, diced onion and the evaporated milk together in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until nearly boiling. Then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked an soft.

*Note that the soup is a little on the thin side and that’s why I added the roux at the beginning to thicken it. If you want yours more runny or don’t have the time, you can most certainly do without it.

Happy Eating, XO.