Advertisements

Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Baked White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage (1)

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage (2)

My friend Kim went on home for a week to visit her parents. I knew she’d be celebrating her birthday while she was gone so I thought I’d have something special waiting for her when she returned home. You know after traveling you’re always tired once you get home, no one really wants to cook. I thought, how about a Baked White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage waiting for her at home. All she’d have to do is to follow the reheating instructions that I attached to the pan. Happy Birthday, Kim!

You know, it’s just as easy to make two pans of Mac and Cheese as it is to make one. One for her family and one for ours. This recipe will yield two 9 x 9 pans of Baked White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage.

 

 

 

2018-08-20 16.17.56

 

 

 

 

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With Smoked Sausage (1)

Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 2 6-quart stock pots, 1 large
sauté pan, 1- 4 quart saucepan, 2 disposable deep-sided 9 x 9 casserole pans.
Yields: 2 pans, 6-8 serving per pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Note: Ingredients (are doubled) for two 9 x 9 pans

Ingredients:
2 16-ounce boxes Barilla Cellentani, corkscrew shaped pasta (or elbow macaroni)
3 sticks unsalted butter, reserve 1 stick for topping, plus butter for greasing pans
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts milk
6 cups of diced smoked sausage sliced and quartered, 3 cups for each pan
2 8-ounce packages, extra-sharp white cheddar, shredded
6-ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Butter each of the 9 x 9 disposable pans

Into each of the two (6-quart stockpot) pots of boiling salted water, add 1 box of Barilla Cellentani. Cook according to the directions on the package, 6-8 minutes. Drain well into separate colanders.

In the meantime, heat the milk in a 4-quart saucepan, but don’t boil it. In another (6- quart) stockpot melt 2 sticks of butter, add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add in the hot milk and cook until thickened and smooth. Do not rush this process, times may vary, about 7-10 minutes, the sauce will thicken. Off the heat add all the white cheddar, 3 ounces of grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg. Stir to combine.

Divide the Bechamel sauce, equally into the each of the (6 quarts) stockpots. Divide, equally, the diced smoked sausage into each pot. Add one colander of the cooked, well-drained pasta into each pot. Stir to combine then transfer to the buttered disposable pans.

Breadcrumb Topping:
Melt the remaining 1 stick of butter into a large sauté pan, on low heat, add the Panko crumbs, stir until all the butter is absorbed.  Off the heat, add the remaining grated Parmesan cheese, and dried parsley flakes. Stir to combine. Divide evenly, then sprinkle the bread crumbs on evenly on top of each of the pans. Place each of the disposable pans onto a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and macaroni and topping are a beautiful golden brown.

Tip For Freezing:
Make sure the pan of Mac & Cheese is at room temperature before freezing.
To freeze (one of the pans), DO NOT Add the breadcrumb topping until ready to bake. Cover tightly with foil. Freeze up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer, remove the foil. Add the breadcrumb topping. Spray the dull side of a piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the topping from sticking to the foil.  Cover the dish tightly with the pre-sprayed foil and bake frozen for 1 hour at 350-degrees F. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown, time may vary slightly, around 5-7 minutes.

Advertisements
3 Comments »

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Over White Cheddar Polenta

2016-04-08 16.18.59

2016-04-08 16.19.04

It’s “TV binge” time!  I need to get caught up on some of my programs. I’m thinking, the answer to accomplishing dinner today is the Crock Pot. Dinner can be cooking all the while I’m finishing up this season of the Walking Dead. I’m starting this at 8:00 am, so I’ll have the whole day free!

I’m starting out  with a sirloin tip roast that’s about 4-1/2 pounds. The marbling is great,which means lot of flavor, and the butcher has tied it up so it holds its shape for even cooking.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours on the high setting
Equipment: Crock Pot, cast iron skillet
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
4-1/2 pound sirloin tip roast that’s been tied, seasoned and seared
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 whole garlic cloves
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes (no sodium)
1 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 minced and seeded Fresno chili
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 a 15 ounce can of beef consomme

Polenta
2 cups of half and half
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
1-1/2 cups of polenta
1/4 stick of unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups of shredded white cheddar
2 tablespoons of freshly minced chives

Directions:
First step is to 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of fresh cracked blaack pepper the roast on both sides. Take a paper towel with a little Canola oil on it and wipe down the cast iron skillet. Set the temperature of the stove top burner to med-high heat. Let the skillet get super hot, almost smoking. Place the season roast into the pan and leave it alone to do its thing. After about 3-4 minutes, using your tongs, if the roast releases itself easily, then turn the meat over and sear the other side. If the roast gives you some resistance, then let it sear for another minute. Next, do the same to the other side. The searing time may vary slightly, maybe, anywhere from 6-8 minutes total for both sides.

Remove the roast from the skillet and place the meat into the slow cooker. Next, is to retrieve the bits from the bottom of the skillet, this is flavor you don’t want to waste. With the pan still on med-high heat, add in a 1/4 cup of low sodium beef broth. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the bits with the back of the spoon. Once all the bits have come loose, turn the heat off. Pour this flavorful liquid over the roast.

To the slow cooker, with the roast,  add in the veggies, fresh rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, dices tomatoes with their juice, and beef consomme. Season with Kosher salt and pepper, then place the lid on. Cook on high for 7 hours.

After the 7 hours, remove the roast carefully. Cut the cooking twine,  and using two forks, shred the meat. Place the shredded pot roast back into the crock pot and stir everything together. Set the crock pot to warm and place the lid back on.

Next, the white cheddar polenta with chives. Polenta cooks really quickly. This is why it should be made right before you’re ready to serve. It’s super simple and fast. Once the liquid is boiling, it’s finished in 5 minutes. Make sure to have the cheese shredded and ready to go.

In a large pot with 2 cups of half and half, along with 3 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Bring the liquid up to a hard boil. Once boiling, slowly whisk in 1-1/2 cups of Polenta. Whisking vigorously until the polenta thickens. Immediately, remove the pot from the heat. To the polenta, changing to a wooden spoon, add in 1/4 stick of unsalted butter. Mix that through and then add in shredded white cheddar cheese and fresh chives.

Spoon some of the white cheddar polenta into the bottom of a bowl and top with that delicious tender and flavorful pot roast. Don’t forget to get some of the juices from the slow cooker to ladle all over the top of the meat and polenta.  YUM!!!

1 Comment »

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

2015-02-19 15.58.58

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.

2015-02-19 11.23.09 2015-02-19 11.23.172015-02-19 11.52.592015-02-19 11.54.46

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.

2015-02-19 12.14.252015-02-19 12.18.38

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

2015-02-19 11.57.002015-02-19 11.58.182015-02-19 12.00.222015-02-19 12.00.542015-02-19 12.01.302015-02-19 12.02.052015-02-19 12.04.542015-02-19 11.58.03

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.

2015-02-19 12.07.262015-02-19 12.15.37

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.

2015-02-19 12.18.38 2015-02-19 12.21.23

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.

2015-02-19 14.37.052015-02-19 14.38.332015-02-19 14.52.17

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.

2015-02-19 13.45.31 2015-02-19 13.51.41 2015-02-19 13.55.35 2015-02-19 13.56.10 2015-02-19 14.09.332015-02-19 15.52.42

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.

2015-02-19 15.58.58

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

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: