I have made many a Mac n Cheese (Gruyere Broccoli, Almost Fire Version, Jalapeno Bacon) and it is probably the cornerstone of my culinary career. For Easter, it was requested that I make mac n cheese and I wanted to use the basic foundation and switch it up a bit so I added jalapeno which is an old and common friend, and introduced a new ingredient in pancetta.
Category Archives: Sides
I had some extra summer squash or good ol yellow squash around and wanted to incorporate it into a hearty dinner somehow. Usually I would just saute it and serve it on the side, but I have done that too many times and it is sort of boring. This was a quick and easy way to use something as simple as squash in a new and tasty way.
Alright it’s already February (how’d that happen?) and I planned to post this as a healthy new-years resulotion-type recipe. Oh well, better late than never! This is a nice, light and healthy recipe inspired by a Mediterranean cous-cous recipe my mom used to make. I started making it back in college and people seemed to really love it. I used some of the same ingredients in this recipe and swapped quinoa for cous-cous for added nutrional benefits. I also added chickpeas (because I’m obsessed) and omitted arugla, which I think I will keep next time for some added greenery. Greenery is a word right?
If you haven’t noticed we’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin kick lately and originally the idea for this dish was to make a pumpkin stuffing. Well, a butternut squash arrived in our CSA and one thing lead to the next and here we are. I had never cooked with butternut squash before and I was up for the challenge. I decided to work off the recipe I used the one other time I’ve made stuffing from scratch and developed a tasty recipe!
I had a pork loin and some rosemary which is a combo that I fancy and also wanted to grill it while the weather was still so mild. We also had some French breakfast radishes which I had never seen before to my knowing. I kept the pork on the upper shelf of the grill and it seared and charred well while not cooking to quickly and drying out. The radishes were sauteed and cheesed. Sticking with the fall theme, I cooked down an apple cider sauce that was used like a dipping au jus.
Oh, Summer… so sad to see it come to an end but luckily the produce from the summer crops are still going strong. We have been growing these lovely little tomatoes all summer and have been thoroughly enjoying them. One of our favorite ways to have them is with fresh basil and penn mac’s fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So simple, so good. Recently, we received some ‘lemon-basil’ in our CSA and naturally a pesto came to mind.
We’ve been in Pittsburgh for a whole year now and we have been loving it, especially all the great food! We have created some of our Pittsburgh favorites, such as pierogies and Italian Wedding Soup, both staples of many restaurants here, and here is another dish commonly seen on menus around town- fried zucchini. We had some fresh mozzarella in the fridge and zucchini and I decided to whip this up. It took all of about 15 minutes from start to finish and was delicious!
If you know me or have been following, mac n cheese is one of my favorite dishes, one of the first things that I mastered, and comes up fairly often (Gruyere and Broccoli version, Fire version). I have experimented with some different combinations and this was another, bacon and fresh jalapenos. I also used Dreamfields low carb pasta (coupon and info here). Check another addition to the growing mac n cheese library!
You see that gravy on the plate there? I have been calling it liquid gold because it was so, so good. You will be licking your plate clean, I can almost guarantee it. We recently received a Staub and this is another recipe from Molly Steven’s All About Braising using the cocotte. This was definitely a dish of a lot of firsts for me. This was the first time I ever cooked a whole chicken before, made stuffing from scratch (cooked inside the bird), and made such a delicious pan sauce. This may have been the best thing I ever made and it really was not too difficult at all. Like the pot roast it entailed many steps and a good few hours, but nothing was too technical or intimidating to take on. Again, this was a time consuming Sunday cooking event. I tried to time it so we ate before the AFC Championship game, but it took a little longer than expected and we ate at half time. Luckily since the Steelers had taken such a big lead my nerves were calm enough that I was able to eat!
For the holidays and our first anniversary present my dad gave us a Staub cocotte. My dad is an avid at home chef as well and he did the research for himself and went with a Staub over Le Creuset and thus gifted us with one as well.
It’s a nice big one too!
The first recipe I made was courtesy of the Molly Steven’s book: Zinfandel Pot Roast with Glazed Carrots & Fresh Sage. Not only was the recipe easy to follow but she also gives good advice on selecting the right cuts of meat, step by step instructions on how to tie it correctly, and even how to select good parsnips. I found the tips on meat selection to be especially helpful as I was sifting through the meat choices at the supermarket. She suggested some cuts and stressed the importance of not selecting others. It gets really confusing to me so that was really nice.
As she suggested, I went with boneless beef chuck. The cuts at the store were on the smaller side so I bought two of them.