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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Can you think of anything better than a Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese? I’ll bet your answer is no, and I would agree.

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (2)

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Meatloaf Withh Sundried Tomatoes (2)

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish

Ingredients:
1 box or pound of Cavatappi (or elbow macaroni)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter plus 6 tablespoons
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12-ounces Gruyère  cheese, grated (4 cups)
8-ounces white Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
4-ounces Mascarpone, room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sweet Paprika (substitute smoked paprika)
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes, plus extra for garnish
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish on top (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F.
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the instructions of the box, 6-8 minutes, drain really well.

At the same time, heat the milk and heavy cream in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Melt 8 tablespoons (1-stick) in a large (6-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes while whisking, until it’s light blond in color. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the pepper, Kosher salt, and grated nutmeg, continue whisking until sauce thickens and becomes smooth.

Off the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the Mascarpone first, then the Gruyére and white Cheddar. Add the cooked macaroni, and half the parsley, stir well. Pour into a 9 x 13 buttered baking dish.

Topping:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan. Add the Panko breadcrumbs, Paprika remaining parsley and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top of the casserole. *Dot the top with the remaining butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and macaroni is browned on top. Optional, sprinkle finely shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley over the top while hot.

Serve hot.

*Dot: To scatter bits of butter over food.

 

Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

 

 

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Raspberry Panna Cotta

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Whenever I serve this Panna Cotta (Italian translation, cooked cream) my friends tend to lose their minds and go CRAZY!   Serving dessert in a glass seems to add a touch of elegance. I love making my Raspberry Panna Cotta because you can make it a day in advance and garnish them right before serving.


Cook Time: bring just to a boil
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours minimum to overnight
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons cold water
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean pod

Raspberry Topping:
2 pints of fresh raspberries ( reserve 6 raspberries for garnish)
1 cup of granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Chambord ( raspberry liqueur optional)
1/4 cup of raspberry jam ( jam with seeds optional)
1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoons of cold water
6 chocolate hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafers for garnish
fresh mint for garnish
white chocolate chips for garnish

Directions:
Start with the raspberry topping. In a food processor, add the fresh raspberries, fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and Chambord. Pulse until the raspberries are completely pureed. In a medium-size saucepan, on medium heat, pour the pureed raspberry mixture. Next, add in the raspberry jam along with the other 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the corn starch and water. Whisk the two together until combined and add that to the pan of raspberry mixture. Once the raspberry sauce comes up to a boil, about 5 to 8 minutes, the sauce will start to thicken. Turn the heat off. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the raspberry sauce to a medium size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To start the Panna cotta, have a medium-size saucepan,. To the saucepan, add the heavy cream, half and half, granulated sugar, and the seeded vanilla bean and pod.

In another small saucepan. Place the 3 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water, letting stand for about 1 minute to soften. Heat the gelatin over low heat, using a small whisk, stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat.

Over medium-high heat, whisking continuously, bring the cream mixture just up to a boil. Once at the boil, remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod and whisk in the prepared gelatin mixture.

Carefully, ladle the cream mixture evenly into the 6 glasses, on a baking tray. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After the 4 hours is up, remove the Panna Cotta from the frig. Remove the plastic wrap, and evenly ladle the raspberry sauce carefully over the top of each one of the glasses. Garnish with white chocolate chips, fresh mint, a fresh raspberry for each one, and finally, a hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafer.

Note: Keep Panna Cotta desserts refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish right before serving.

 

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Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta

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Here in Florida, we have a local restaurant and bar that serves this dish. Every time we go I always order the Cajun Chicken Pasta. I just love it so much I needed to recreate it at home. I will say that there is some butter that goes into the making of this dish, but that’s part of the reason it’s so delicious. I think once and a while it’s alright to indulge in a rich and decadent dish!

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ready less than 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: cast iron skillet and a deep sided saute pan.

Ingredients:
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 boxes of linguine
1 pint of sliced button mushrooms
4 seeded and diced plum tomatoes
1 finely minced shallot
3 finely minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of dry white wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese ( reserve 1/2 cup for garnishing each serving)
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
In a cast iron skillet, start by melting butter and olive oil. To the skillet add the finely minced shallot and sliced mushrooms. On medium heat, saute the mushrooms and shallots for about 3-5 minutes. Next, add in the minced garlic, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of white wine and let this all simmer together until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are brown. This process should take another 7-10 minutes. While the mushrooms are simmering and browning, seed and dice 4 plum tomatoes. Transfer the sauteed mushrooms, shallots and garlic with the diced tomatoes to the bowl and mix together.

Place 4 boneless-skinless chicken breast, that have been patted dry, in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika to the bag. Let all the air out of the bag and seal it up. Using your hands, massage the chicken so all the seasoning coats the chicken.

Using the same skillet the mushrooms were cooked in, preheated on the stove on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with 2 tablespoons of butter. Let the butter melt and move the butter and oil around in the skillet to coat the entire bottom. Next, place the 4 seasoned chicken breast into the skillet. Cook the chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes per side until almost tender. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for a minute.

In a large pot, start to get the pasta water ready. Turn the pot on med-high heat to bring the water up to a boil. While that’s happening, slice the chicken breast on the bias.

in a deep sided saute pan with a lid, start the sauce for this dish. On medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter ( this may seem like a large amount of butter, but there is a lot of pasta going into this dish. The pasta needs to be well coated) along with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoons sweet paprika. Add 1/2 a cup of low sodium chicken broth. Let this come to a bubble. Reduce the heat to med-low and pour in 1/4 cup of  heavy cream. Whisk the sauce together, then add the sliced chicken into the sauce. Let the sauce and chicken simmer for 10-12 minutes ( enough time to cook the pasta), on med-low heat, while the pasta cooks.

When the pasta is al dente,  transfer the linguine to the pan with the chicken, along with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Turn the heat off and toss together until all the pasta is coated and the chicken is mixed through.The pasta will immediately start to absorb the sauce. Serve in a pasta bowl and garnishing with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley and another sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese. If the dish is not being served right away, place the lid.

 

 

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Braised Boneless Short Ribs And Root Vegetables In A Red Wine Reduction Over Cheddar Grits

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This has to be one of the coldest days we’ve had in Orlando in a really long time, so I needed to bring out the big guns for dinner tonight. Steve’s been working on roofs all day and I know he’d want a comforting dish to warm him up. I went to our local Farmers’ Market and decided on short ribs. They offer boneless short ribs which I’ve never seen anywhere else before, so I bought them.

The name of my dish, Braised Short Ribs With Root Vegetables In A Red Wine Reduction Over Cheddar Grits sounds super fancy but really it’s not.

I should tell you that our local Farmers’ Market is called Freshfields Farm. I posted a link at the bottom of this post in case you’d like to click and visit.

I definitely needed good white cheddar for my grits, and Freshfields Farm also offers a variety of cheeses, so this worked out perfectly.

Next, I was onto the produce side of Freshfields Farm to check out the root vegetables available for my dish tonight. I found a beautiful butternut squash and some leaf top carrots. Those are going to be perfect for my Braised Boneless Short Ribs.

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To start this dish, the vegetables need to be prepped. It’s important that they all be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Besides the butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic using a food processor purèe the Piquillo peppers.

This is what the boneless short ribs look like. You can see they have great marbling throughout the meat, which will make for a tender and flavorful dish.

Instead of browning the meat off in batches, in my Dutch oven, I’m going to sear the meat all at one time by roasting the short ribs in the oven at a very high temperature. I love this method instead of browning them off in batches on top of the stove. Also, I can start cooking the vegetables off on top of the stove while the meat is searing.

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Be sure to keep checking their progress until they look like the picture above.

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On the stove top, start softening the vegetables in the Dutch oven. It’s really important to season each layer as you go.  I’ll show the total amount of Kosher salt and pepper in the ingredients list.

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For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine has reduced, add the beef consomme and beef broth.

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Adjust the oven temperature to 325-degrees F.

Remove the short ribs from the oven.

Add the seared short ribs and their juices (the juice is extra flavor) to the pot with the vegetables.  Bring all this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and place into the oven for 2-1/2- 2-3/4 hours. The short ribs will be fully cooked and fork tender.

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Carefully remove the short ribs from the oven. Turn the oven temperature to 350-degrees F. Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set onto a plate.

In a small bowl make a *slurry. Add the *slurry to the pot. Bring the sauce back up to a boil. Stirring everything continuously until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. You want it to be like a loose gravy, so when you ladle it over the cheese grits, the sauce will cling to the veggies and soak into the grits.

At this point, add the meat back into the pot and place the lid on. Set the pot on a back burner on very low or warm if that setting is available on your stove.

Next, onto making the cheddar grits.

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Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
In a large saucepot, I add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a  whisk add the grits. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed,  remove the grits from the heat and add the unsalted butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, added the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

Next, in a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the cooked grits. spread the grits evenly into the buttered casserole dish. spring white cheddar on top. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until grits are hot and bubbly.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time For Short Ribs: 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours
Cooking Time For Grits: 1 hour
Oven Temp: 325 degrees
Yields: 4-6 servings
Equipment, 6-quart Dutch oven, food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 11 baking dish

Ingredients For Boneless Short Ribs:

3 cups of water
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of shredded white cheddar (reserve 1/2 a cup for the topping)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
To start this dish, the vegetables need to be prepped. It’s important that they all be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Besides the butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic using a food processor purèe the Piquillo peppers.

In a large mixing bowl, add the short ribs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper. Mix to combine. Lay the marinated short ribs, in one layer, spread out, onto two baking sheets. Roast for 20 minutes. Halfway through the roasting process, flip the short ribs to get a good caramelization on all sides.

Note: Oven temperatures may vary slightly. The 20 minutes roasting time for the short ribs is an approximate time.

In a Dutch oven preheated on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, and carrots. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Sautè those for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the diced butternut squash minced garlic, and tomato paste.

Continue cooking adding the remaining Kosher salt and black pepper, stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes. Note: It’s important to season each layer as you go. Once the vegetables start to soften, add the purèed Piquillo peppers stirring to combine with the vegetables. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs, stir to combine.

For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine has reduced by half add the beef consomme and beef broth.

Remove the short ribs from the oven. Turn the oven to 325-degrees F.

Add the short ribs and their juices to the Dutch oven, stir to combine. Bring up to a boil, place the lid on and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Set oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the short ribs to a dish. Add the premade *slurry to the pot, stir to combine. Bring the sauce back up to a boil until sauce has the consistency of a loose gravy. Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature or a warm setting. Add the meat back into the pot. Place a lid on to keep hot.

Tip: Spray the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before covering the grits. The will prevent the cheese on top from sticking to the foil.

In a large saucepot, I add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a  whisk add the grits. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed,  remove the grits from the heat and add the unsalted butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, added the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

Next, in a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the cooked grits. spread the grits evenly into the buttered casserole dish. spring white cheddar on top. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until grits are hot and bubbly.

To Serve:

*slurry:  For each cup of liquid, you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid and stir until smooth paste forms. Whisk the slurry into the hot simmering liquid you want to thicken.

 

Freshfields Farm

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