Thanksgiving Day Macaroni & Cheese

I make macaroni and cheese……like……a lot. An unholy amount of mac’ n cheese has been put into this body. I didn’t plan to make mac’ n cheese for Thanksgiving this year, but when the night came to make my scalloped potatoes I just couldn’t resist making one more thing. Over achiever much? The sauce for my scalloped potatoes was a base for mac’ n cheese so how could I really say no? This is what I refer to as “last minute mac” because I used penne in replacement for elbow noodles, because, hello, I didn’t know I was making this so of course I didn’t have the right pasta on hand. I threw in some spicy Jimmy Dean sausage because Kyle is constantly bitching at me that the freezer is too full….so I used something from the freezer, probably the smallest item in the freezer, but still counts!

Ingredients
1 box of penne pasta (or elbow if you’re smarter than me)
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
3 Cups of Whole Fat Milk
3 Cups of a three cheese blend or the cheese of your choosing
1 Stalk of green onion diced
1 package of Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
1 Cup of Panko
4 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter
4 Tablespoons of Flour
S&P

How To
Don’t be an idiot like me and wait until you are done with the sauce to boil the pasta – you should do that first. Remember the pasta trick with the water – your pasta water should look and taste like ocean water – more flavor!

I fried up my sausage next, and once it was completely cooked through I added the garlic and onions. Next, I added the butter (all in the same pan, sausage fat and all, this is Thanksgiving!), let the butter melt down over medium heat, and then add in the flour. Cook this mixture for about 3-4 minutes, and then stir in the milk and begin to whisk. Whisk until your arm falls off OR you no longer have lumps of flour/butter. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese, but only add one cup at a time and wait until it’s melted down into the sauce to add the next. At this point I also take a small ladle of the pasta water and place it into the cheese sauce. The starches released from the pasta while it bowls will help the sauce really adhere to the noodles.

Butter a casserole dish and mix your sauce and noodles all together. I bake this at 400 covered for 30 minutes, and then take it out, place panko all over the top, drizzle the panko with olive oil, and then broil for 5 minutes. Delicious! Last minute mac!

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Spanish Cauliflower Rice

I love real rice. I am not a rice hater, BUT it doesn’t make me feel the best a few hours after consuming, and you know the world is currently OBSESSED with cauliflower rice. I thought, well what the hell let’s try it and it worked! This recipe was so so so easy, flavorful, and you can eat more because it’s just veggies not rice! I am planning on making many different varieties so be on the lookout – this is only the beginning!!

Cauliflower rice is stupid expensive in the store – read below to learn how to make it all on your own!

Ingredients

1 Head of Cauliflower
2 TBSP Kerrygold Butter
1 TBSP Olive Oil
6 Roma Tomatoes (use the variety you prefer and cube them)
1/2 Jalapeno – diced
1/2 White onion – diced
3 Cloves of garlic – diced
3 TBSP Taco seasoning (I make my own which is: cumin, garlic, oregano, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and onion powder)
S&P

How To

Cut your cauliflower into large pieces. I had to make this in two batches even though I have a fairly large processor. Pulse the cauliflower in the processor until it is a rice like consistency.

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On medium heat saute your onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, and seasoning with the butter and olive oil. I only cook everything for about 5 minutes, but this part is totally up to you. THEN I bump the heat to high and throw down the riced cauliflower, stir it around or about 3-4 minutes and pull OFF the heat! Cauliflower rice does not take long at all and you still want that nice “rice bite” as I call it. Enjoy!