January 2011


Today we’re going to make more comfort food!  Yay!

This is a pretty basic recipe for macaroni and cheese, zhoozhed up a bit courtesy of Alton Brown and Williams-Sonoma…

On with the show…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni.  (Use Dreamfield’s if you’re feeling low-carby.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded  (use white cheddar if you’re feeling saucy.  Or you can throw in some Fontina, smoked gouda, Gruyere, or any other interesting cheese that haz a flavor.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • White pepper

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup (panko) bread crumbs  (If you don’t have panko, you can grind up some stale white bread in your food processor.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to one minute less than the directions say.  (It will finish cooking in the oven.)

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, nutmeg, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes, stirring constantly, then remove the bay leaf.  (The bay leaf is optional, BTW.)

Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and white pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

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Howdy!

Today we will be making a dish whose name confounds most Yankees:   Chicken Fried Chicken!  Yee Haw!

To make this, you will need:


  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • flour
  • an egg or two
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • oil or shortening for frying
  • 1 pkg PIONEER GRAVY(!!!!)

Directions:

  • If you want to shorten the cooking time, put each chicken breast into a ziploc bag and pound it to 1/2″ thickness with a meat mallet.  But this is entirely optional…
  • Mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder, and put into a dredging receptacle.
  • Beat eggs in a bowl that is big enough to accommodate the chicken breasts.

  • Heat oil to 350-375 degrees.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, then egg, then flour.  Make sure the entire thing is coated.

  • Fry at medium-high heat, turning frequently, until brown.  After that, lower the heat a bit, cover, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, turning frequently to avoid burning the crust.

  • If needed, you can keep the cooked chicken in your oven at 175-200 while you make the rest of the food.
  • Make the Pioneer Gravy according to directions on the package.  (Yes, this is totally cheating.  But if you have ever tasted this stuff, you know that it tastes EXACTLY like the gravy that they use for chicken fingers at Whataburger.  And I wouldn’t lie to you about something as important as gravy…  So use it!)
  • Ladle gravy over chicken and EAT!