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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 Cook 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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Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (40)

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (41)

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (38)

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (35)

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (1)

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (20)

I wanted to tell you about this AWESOME new spice blend from P.S. Flavor Spice Blends called Mai Chai. I suppose I’d describe it as a warm combination of spices that work perfectly in coffees, smoothies, and just about any dessert. I’ve decided to make a Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu. I’m going to be taking this dessert over to friends and family for Thanksgiving. I’ve posted a link below for the P.S.Flavor Spice Blends below.

https://m.facebook.com/psflavor/

 

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (32)

Active Prep: 50 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Yields:  9 servings per pan
Equipment: a 9 x 11  baking dish or 2- disposable 9 x 9 pans with lids

Ingredients:
Pie Filling:
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
8-ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Mai Chai Spice

Espresso Syrup:
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon Mai Chai Spice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kahlua

Tiramisu Ingredients:
4 7-ounce packages Alessi Lady Fingers
1 bar of semi-sweet chocolate for grating
2 boxes of Turtle Pecan Biscottis, crushed

Directions:

For the espresso syrup:
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the instant espresso powder, stir until dissolved. Add the brown sugar, Mai Chai Spice, and Kahlua and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the pie filling:
Do-it-yourself double boiler: Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a heatproof mixing bowl that will cover the top of the pan, but does not sink the bowl all the way in.

Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until the yolks start to turn pale. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan with the simmering water. Slowly add the Kahlua and whisk to combine. Cook over the simmering water, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, until thick, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, 30 minutes.

Place the mascarpone cheese and pumpkin puree in a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and Mai Chai Spice. Whip until not quite stiff peaks Add the whipped cream mixture to the pumpkin mixture, followed by the chilled egg mixture. Fold gently until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Fill a large plastic bag with the biscotti. Using a meat mallet, break up the Turtle Pecan Biscottis. They do not have to be finely crushed.

To assemble:
Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in the two 9 x 9 pans, braking as necessary to fit. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the espresso syrup over each ladyfinger. Add a third of the chilled pumpkin filling mixture on top and spread into a thin layer. Grate over a thin layer of the chocolate.

Repeat this process one more time in each pan, finishing with the crushed Turtle Pecan Biscotti. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Note: Best eaten with 24 hours. Tiramisu will start to break down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuna Tapenade

2014-07-09 19.30.16This recipe is one I love because it can be done in advance. It’s great to serve as Hors d’oeuvre for parties or just if you want to have it as a meal. We have this at my house any time we’re in the mood for tuna.

Tapenade is an olive spread that is served on bread. In this recipe, I’ve made the star the tuna. This one is made with Italian style tuna I just found in my local grocery store. Of course, you could use regular tuna and that would be delicious.  Let me tell you how I did this.

Start with red onion, celery, and garlic. In a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

2014-07-09 18.52.35

There are quite a few ingredients that go into this recipe, so let me just show you those now.

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2014-07-09 18.52.35

 

 

 

 

At this point, I’ve already added the onion, celery, and garlic, next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in water,  drained, and 2 small packages (total 6-ounces) of chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

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To the tuna, Mascarpone cheese, capers drained and rinsed, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives, flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

2014-07-09 18.57.412014-07-09 18.57.07

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

Toasted Ciabatta Bread

Tuna Tapenade

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 16 appetizers
Equipment: food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients:
12-ounces of Italian style Tuna packed in water drained (substitute Starkist tuna packed in spring water)
half a red onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons caper, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread, sliced, (yields 16 slices) substitute plain Ciabatta or a good French baguette

Spicy Tuna Tapenade:
Add 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a Fresno chili, seeded

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Note: Each oven may vary slightly in temperature, watch the bread closely to prevent from burning.

Directions:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, start with half a red onion and 3 ribs of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. In a food processor fitting with the metal blade pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

Next, the tuna. Italian tuna can be expensive so I decided to mix one 6-ounce jar of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained, 6-ounces of Starkist chunk light tuna packed in spring water to the food processor.

To the tuna, add Mascarpone cheese, drained and rinsed capers,  lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, chopped and pitted Kalamata olives,  chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too. I like to serve this on some toasted or grilled ciabatta bread.

To serve, I like to top the Tuna Tapenade with roasted asparagus and even a few julienned roasted Piquillo peppers for a little sweetness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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