Pasta


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.

I’ve got a really good one for you today!

I was at World Market and picked up a mini version of Spanish chorizo.  And I had some scrimps sitting in my freezer at home.  So I decided to make this little concoction…

Penne with Shrimp, Chorizo, and Asiago cheese!

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 shrimp (Mine were in a bag in my freezer.  Feel free to use fresh ones.)
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Asiago Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped Spanish chorizo  (You can use Mexican chorizo if you want, but it will just fall apart and get runny and gross.  So whatever floats yer boat…)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1 box Penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup white wine

Directions:

  • While you are making the sauce, cook the penne according to directions on package.
  • Save yourself some time and dishwashing by throwing the peas into the water with the penne.
  • When penne is done, set aside.
  • In a nonstick frying pan, fry the shrimp until they are done.  Or just follow the cooking directions on the bag of frozen shrimp.
  • Remove shrimp and set aside.  (And remove the extraneous sauce matter from the pan, if your shrimp came in a bag.

    • In the same pan, add the chopped chorizo and garlic (and a little oil, if you think it will stick.  It probably won’t, but still…)
    • Cook until crunchy and brown.

    • Add the white wine and reduce until it looks something like this:

    • Add the heavy cream and reduce until the sauce is thick.
    • Then add cheese.

    • Then add drained pasta and peas….

    • Mix it all together…

    • Plate it up, and add some Parmesan or something if you want….

    YUM!

    Oh, by the way, how do you like my snazzy new apron that I got in N’Awlins?

    It’s so Me, don’t you think?  =-D