Friends, The Sou Chef and the Great Mac-N-Cheese Affair

~Let It Be by Alex Goot~

Well, well, well. Let me dust this off real quick. (Blows off keyboard)

I’m starting to find that when one tries to start up a blog, of any sort really; if you’re not used to posting every so often, you forget you have one. Last week has been one insane week however let me tell you. From hanging out with your friend the Road Tripper, to schmoozing with one of your favorite Dynamo players at the game, to even enjoying the homecoming of a Father to his family and the smiles they all shared (let me tell you, that’s an emotion that’s just special).

Last week I teased the idea of me doing a Oreo Desert, however sadly I wasn’t able to get to that. I did however create an amazing Macaroni and Cheese dish that was really easy. Here’s what you’ll need.

 

Homemade Baked Gouda and Chedder Mac n Cheese::

Capture

16 oz of Elbow Macaroni
2 cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used Smoked Cheddar)
1/2 cup Shredded Gouda Cheese
2 cans (12 ounces) of Evaporated Milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons cup of Butter (I used Unsalted)
1/4 Teaspoon of Peprika
Pinch of Pepper (to taste)
Bread Crumbs (I used Italian Style)

First and fore-most, pre-heat your oven to 350. It’ll help in the long run.

Secondly, you want to get the noodles going, so get that water boiling. I add a dash of Olive Oil and Salt to my boil, just to make sure the noodles dont stick and the water gets activated “quicker”. I also find the Olive Oil makes the noodles a little more softer. Maybe I’m psyching myself out. That process should take about 10 minutes. Once the water is at a strong roll, add the noodles and let them cook until slightly al dente.

While you are waiting for the noodles to cook, it would be a perfect time to get your cheese sauce going.  In a saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of  butter over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. This part I found rough, as it was my first ever roux. Slowly add the flower, it will start to clump and become more of a paste. So to counteract this, I just alternated adding the evaporated milk and flour, making sure to  stir constantly. Once you have that roux looking nice and think (should almost look like a thick sauce) stir in your cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. This should take roughly the same time for the noodles to cook (10 minutes)

Go back to the noodles, drain and place in a casserole pan. Add the cheese and mix. Once the noodles are covered to your liking, cover the top of your noodles with bread crumbs, I’m very generous in my topping.  Then, pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Pull out and BOOM, gorgeous baked mac-n-cheese.

_____________________________

Now I’ve noticed with other blogs they will have pictures of the steps as well. Fear not, I will start posting them. Tonight I’m going to be playing Sou Chef with my friend Racheal as we put together Pasta Milano, Garlic Bread and an Italian Salad. Look for that post next. I also haven’t forgotten the Oreo dish, so that will be later this week as I go to Florida and cook for some friends there!

Thanks for reading, and happy cooking!

Advertisements

Friends. Fun. Chicken.

~”Telegraph Ave. (Oakland by Lloyd)” – Childish Gambino~

Last time I posted, I teased this dinner party I was hosting at my house. Funny thing about these kind “family-get-togethers”, you plan on taking all these photos and post them to your favorite social media site; but instead you end up not even touching your phone and enjoying everyone’s company. I’ll probably make a smaller portion of what we had later this week, however for right now here’s what we made :

Appetizer #1:: Cucumber, Avocado and Jalapeno Salad

4 Whole avocados
4 Whole cucumbers
2 Whole jalapenos
4 Whole limes
1 tbsp of olive oil.

Pretty straight forward here. Gut the avocados, dice and place in bowl. Peel (or dont, your choice), dice and place in bowl. Lather, rinse and repeat on the jalapenos. (NOTE: I suggest a Pablano pepper if you aren’t a huge fan of heat or spice.) Roll the four limes a bit to get the juices going, then divide the limes in half, squeeze into the bowl. Take the last tablespoon and drizzle around the salad. Toss and serve. I just want to say this salad is great for a light snack too. Great for summer time too.

Appetizer #2:: Caprese Salad

1 Fresh Mozzarella Log (I got Bel Gioioso Brand)
2 Fresh Tomatoes
Basil Leaves
Balsamic Vinegar Oil

Again this is a pretty simple (and way easy snack / salad to make). Slice the mozzarella into small slices. Cut the tomatoes into similar sizes, and place on top the mozzarella slices. Place 1 basil leaf on the tomato, drizzle the balsamic vinegar on-top and, voila! Add pepper to taste if you wish. You also may want to dice the ingredients and toss in a bowl if it’s just for you, but I opted for the finger food style as it was for a larger crowd.

Side Item:: Steamed Carrots
(Disclaimer, we made 2 pounds of Carrots, so, time and heat may vary for how large of batch you’re doing)

2 lbs Carrots (Peeled)
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup water

Following suit with the easy and simple, spray a pan with some PAM, and heat on low. Make sure to cut your carrots, and dice your garlic cloves. Toss both items into the pan, add the 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 stick of butter and let steam on low for 20 mins.

Main Course:: Grilled Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes, on top of a bed of Angle Hair Pasta

1 Chicken Breast (Sliced horizontally)
1 Can of Sun-Dried Tomatoes (I kind of punk’d out on this, however I will make homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes very soon)
1 Package of Angle Hair Pasta
2 tbsp of Olive Oil

The first thing I did here was boil the water for the pasta, I also added about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt to the water boil. Let sit and wait for the water to hit a rolling boil. Once that is achieved, place in the pasta. This should take around 10 minutes. Taste test your pasta every so often and make sure you get that Al Dente feel.

As for the chicken, I took one breast and cut it in half (horizontally). This made for more chicken, also it wasn’t as filling considering how much food was on the plate. Set the grill to 350. Lightly baste the chicken with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on the grill. Since you’ve sliced the chicken in half, it should be a very quick grilling session, 4-5 minutes on each side should do it. Place desired amount of pasta on the plate, place chicken and sun-dried tomatoes on top and serve. (Side note here: We also had some fresh bell peppers from a friends garden which we cooked and served with chicken as well. All we did for that, was spray the pan with Pam and oven-grilled the peppers for 10 mins {they should be soft and slightly charred})

Now, like I said, I wasn’t able to take a picture of this dish, (I’m sorry not sorry), however I will be making majority of the items again this week. Also, we were going to make a homemade pesto sauce, we simply forgot. I blame the alcohol and stories being told around the oven/grill. Special thanks to everyone who helped make this meal possible! Jessica, Jamie, Racheal, Larry and Mike you guys are awesome!

Next up on the menu, I’m going to try something different and try to create a nice desert dish involving Oreos. Interested? Stay tuned! 

Last Nights Catch

~Oh Tonight~
Josh Abbott Band ft. Kacey Musgraves 

 

Everyone who is anyone has had those moments when they have an epiphany. That something that changes them for the better. A moment when you toss away the things that tie you down and create a new part of you that you can share with everyone.  I just had one of those moments.
As of Monday I decided to embark on a new journey in my life. Cooking! I’ve never done it, and truth be told, I used to hate it. However while I was sitting on my butt watching Masterchef, a fan favorite in the Wehr household,  something came over me. As I watched Ahran and Leslie put aside their collective differences and create an amazing spicy pork belly and sweet crab stack with pico de gallo, guacamole and kimchi fried rice..(let that just sink in real quick, delicious right?)…I thought to myself, “Hey I could do that.”
Now I always had this little voice poking around in my head, from those lazy Sunday mornings watching Barefoot Contesta to those Monday’s before RAW when I would watch Masterchef, constantly reminding me of how much I wanted to create something delicious. This past Monday the waking giant that was my cooking passion.

 

So this is my blog, about my food experiences. Whether they be something new I have eaten, something new I have cooked myself, or I’ll even go so far as saying things I have drank / brewed! First up is my most recent excursion down this path : Grilled Mahi Mahi in a Cilantro Honey and Lime juice Glaze with homemade Cilantro Ranch Sauce and Mango Salsa

 

Now, I’ve never had Mahi Mahi, let alone ever cooked it. So this was a feat in-of-itself. First off I have to give love to the lady who wrote up the recipe for the Cilantro Ranch Sauce. If you’re interested here is the recipe here. It’s fantastic! Got the right kind of bite from the cilantro and the right kind of pep from the garlic. Also, when you pair it with the avocado, it’s the perfect kind of summer snack if you got a bag of chips next to you. Total time to make this sauce, maybe 10 minutes. Very easy, especially if you have a blender.

 

The fish was a very different beast all together. Here’s what I had on me when I cooked

.65 lb of Wild Mahi Mahi (Krogers brand, around 14 bucks.)
3 tablespoons of chopped Cilantro
1 teaspoon of chopped Garlic
1 teaspoon of Cumin (I used the bottled cumin from the spice rack)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 1/2 tablespoons of honey 
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt (I would assume any salt works here)
1/2 teaspoon of Crushed Black Pepper

 

First off, I combined all those ingredients (minus the Salt and Pepper) in freezer bag, placed the Mahi Mahi fillet in the bag and then put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Then once the grill was where I thought it should be, I took it out and prepped it with the salt and pepper. Keep in mine I’ve never cooked fish before, so of course I Google’d “How long do you grill Mahi Mahi”. The Google machine told me 3-4 minutes, however since I had my grill set to very low, I would suggest maybe keeping it on 5 minutes on each side, if you so choose to slow cook the fillet. I could tell the fish was a bit raw still when I got to the middle of the fillet.

Overall, I want to make this dish again, it was light and it was very summer-time-esque. I will however want to make sure that the fish was cooked all the way thru next time. There were some pieces that were a bit raw still, but hey….it’s fish right?

 

 

Tonight I have a couple of buddies and their wives coming over for Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, a homemade Pesto sauce and Angel hair pasta. Check back for details on the night and how that all went down!