Monday, May 24, 2010

Blue Mac 'N Cheese

There is a great local vegetarian restaurant that serves fantastic soups. They also have some of the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had. My favorite is their "Blue". I am a huge blue cheese fan, and lucky for me, my two little children are too! I found a great recipe online that is close, but still lacking a little of the magic. I lightened the recipe up a tad, but it was still great comfort food!

Blue Mac 'N Cheese
1 lb. penne pasta
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. skim milk
1 1/2 c. blue cheese
3 c. cheddar cheese
Salt, black pepper, cayenne to taste
3 T. minced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. Melt the butter with the oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Make a roux with the flour. Cook for about a minute and slowly whisk in the milk. Once sauce begins to thicken, add the cheddar and 1 c. of the blue cheese. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Toss pasta in cheese sauce and pour into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle remaining blue cheese over top and bake 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Sprinkle with chives and serve.
Greta and Miles rating: Greta had 3 helpings and Miles ate every last drop of his!

Cheeseburger Bread

I think this could be more accurately described as a Cheeseburger Calzone, but either way- this is an easy delicious dish! The original recipe calls for premade pizza dough, but I made mine from scratch. This is a fun recipe that would be great to serve to dinner guests that might be a little less adventurous :) I used ground turkey, and it was fabulous!

Cheeseburger Bread
1 lb. ball of pizza dough
1 lb. ground turkey
Worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
1 c. shredded cheddar
1 kosher dill pickle, chopped into small pieces
ketchup and mustard, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Brown ground turkey with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Drain. Stir in cheese and pickles; stir until well mixed.

Roll dough ball into a big rectangle. Spread the dough with ketchup and mustard (I skipped mustard). Put meat mixture in the middle of dough. Roll to make a loaf pinching edges to make a seam. Bake for 15-20 or until dough starts to brown.

Greta and Miles rating: They thought this was awesome!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Light Oat Bread

This is a fabulous bread recipe!! I have made it with all AP flour and also with 2 c. AP, 1 c. Whole Wheat. The loaves were delicious both times. This is our favorite homemade bread to use for making grilled cheese sandwiches. I usually double this recipe...I figure if I'm going to go to the trouble to make fresh bread, I want at least two loaves from the deal! Here is the original, which is for a breadmachine, but I prefer the taste and shape of the loaves when cooked in the oven.
Light Oat Bread
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. yeast
2 T. butter
3 C. Flour (whatever combination floats your boat)
1/2 c. Oats
1 t. salt

In small bowl, combine the water, sugar, yeast and melted (and cooled) butter. Set aside for about 10 minutes. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Whisk together. Pour water/yeast mixture into dry ingredients and stir with spatula until combined. Then knead for 10-15 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and transfer to bread pan. Cover and let rise until the dough is the same height as the pan. Bake at 350 for approx. 30 minutes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Crispy BBQ Tofu Slices

Let me start by saying that I don't like Barbecue. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I am not crazy about meat. And meat attached to a bone is just plain scary to me! My husband and kids love barbecue sauce...and meat. I found this recipe on Allrecipes, I was excited! I love crispy tofu, but until now, my family has not had the same opinion. This recipe was such a hit that I had to double it to feed our family of 4. The little ones were fighting Daddy for the leftovers! This recipe was terrific and a new addition to our "regulars". I wouldn't recommend this recipe for the beginner cook as there are many steps. In the end- this is definitely worth all of the preparations.

Crispy BBQ Tofu Slices
1 (16 oz) pkg. extra firm tofu
1 egg white
1 T. bbq sauce
1 c. AP flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. bbq sauce

Drain tofu, and slice into strips. Place in a plastic bag , and freeze overnight. This gives the tofu a meatier texture. Thaw tofu strips, and blot with paper towels to dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med. heat. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce (I had to double this).

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Dip the tofu slices into the egg mixture, then into the flour mixture, Fry in the hot oil for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. You will have to do this in batches. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain and cool.Preheat the oven's broiler. Brush tofu slices with additional barbecue sauce, and allow to marinate while the broiler heats up. Arrange them on a broiler pan. Broil for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp, watch closely so as not to burn them. Serve warm with the remaining barbecue sauce for dipping.

Greta and Miles rating: They absolutely LOVED this!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tom Kha Kai Soup

The photo, not so interesting...the flavor of this soup, WOW! You must try this! The original recipe calls for 1 c. cooked chicken and mushrooms- I substituted these for a bag of frozen stir fry veggies. There are so many amazing flavors going on in this soup. I've used both lemon and lime juice successfully. Try this--you will not regret it!

Thai Coconut Soup

3 c. chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 pkg. frozen stir fry vegetables
1 1/2 T. lime (or lemon) juice
1 T. fish sauce
2 T. Thai chili paste
3 T. brown sugar

Combine chicken broth, coconut milk and ginger in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Add veggies, lemon juice, sugar, fish sauce and chile paste and stir until veggies are cooked through. Serve.
Greta and Miles rating: This was too spicy for the kiddos. Next time I will try halving the chili paste and let them try it.