Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kitchen Weekend

After my run yesterday, I hung around for awhile watching TV, reading blogs and making my grocery list.  I finally got motivated to go to the grocery store and when I got home, I immediately started cooking.  I decided to take the brussel sprout stalk I got at my CSA and turn it into a delicious veggie filled Mac N Cheese.  I was inspired by a Boston blog TheFoodinmyBeard. Here are the ingredients:
Brussel Sprout , Bacon, Squash Cheesy Mac N Cheese
1 Lb Pasta
6 Slices Bacon
1/2  Onion
1/2 cup Mushrooms
2 Cups Milk
1/2 cup of cream 
3 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Butter
8 Oz of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Stalk Brussel Sprouts
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs wit 1 tablespoon of melted butter
Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Dice onions and mushrooms, shred the brussel sprouts, chop the bacon, and put water in a large pot on the stove. Cook the bacon until fully cooked. Drain out most of the fat and add the butter. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly then whisk in the milk making sure to whisk out all lumps. Bring this to a simmer then add the cheese in handfuls, doing figure-eights with your wisk. Mix the shredded sprouts with the Romano cheese, butternut squash and melted butter.  
Cook pasta about 3 minutes less than the package says. Mix the cooked pasta and the cheese sauce together then add the mixture to the brussel sprout mixture in a casserole pan. Add crumbled bacon and mix thoroughly together.  
Then mix butter and panko bread crumbs and add on top. Cook for about 30-40 minutes.

 Talk about a loaded Mac N Cheese.  It had a decent amount of butter + bacon, but I also used Fat Free Milk and it was loaded with veggies.  This dish was our dinner last night and our lunch today.  We will also eat it for lunch throughout the beginning of the week.  One big thing I changed, was I used a lot less milk then the original recipe used... I think if I was to make this again, I would follow my recipe again but with half the pasta.

With this dish, I made Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Remoulade Sauce.  This recipe was almost 100% taken from Closet Kitchen. 
 I got these beauties in my CSA this week.  I thought they were green tomatoes, but after looking at Jess's blog-  could they be tomatillos?  Are those the same?  Someone with more knowledge help me out.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Remoulade Sauce
4 green tomatoes (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup corn meal
oil for frying

1 cup of crab meat (I sauteed in a pan with salt and pepper)
Remoulade Sauce: 
2 T of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 green onion (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
hot sauce to taste
(Mix together until smooth)Instructions:
Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper.Dredge the tomatoes slices in the flour, then dip them in the egg and finally dredge them in the corn meal. Fry the tomato slices in oil until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minute per side. I use a tony bit of oil, so to get them golden, I ended up baking them for 10 more minutes.  Then I mixed the remoulade sauce ingredients together and cooked the crab meat.  I layered the tomatoes with crab then the sauce.  Served along side the Mac N Cheese.

 I loved how sweet and tasty the tomatoes were and I thought the crab and sauce balanced it very well.

I also made cupcakes.  These are for my dinner tonight- I'm cooking for my mom. This is the worlds easiest recipe and I totally cheated.  Meaning, this is half a package of the Dunkin' Hines Spice Cake mix with about a cup of Canned Pumpkin, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Then baked at 350 for 18 minutes, cooled and frosted with store bought frosting. Told ya I cheated. 
On another note, last night, we got to visit Lillian.  My friend Pete and Laura's new bundle of joy.

She is the cutest thing I have ever seen and only 5 pounds! I wanted to keep her and her tiny hands : )

Also, Friday night, I received a package of Pestos with Panache by Lauren.  
Pesto is Lauren's passion and she has created amazing flavors and I am so honored that she sent me some to review and test out.  I am SO SO excited to share with you the recipe I am making (tonight) with this delicious PESTOS! Stay tuned... and GO PATS!


  1. This veggie mac n cheese is a great idea. I don't like mushrooms or brussel sprouts (really, I promise, I'm not that picky - you just picked 2/3 of the things I don't like... the 3rd being olives)... but I think this could work with lots of other veggies... definitely spinach instead of brussels and maybe eggplant in place of mushrooms.

  2. We ate out at a place in Salem that had the most divine lobster mac and cheese. Rich, but not too rich. Yum. Place is called Green Land Cafe on Washington St.

    And re: green tomatoes... tomatillos come in a papery covering and are about the size of a ping pong ball (or smaller). Yours look like the might just be end of the season green tomatoes?

    What a precious little bundle of joy!!

  3. Wow were you busy in the kitchen this weekend! What creative recipes - that mac and cheese looks so delicious!I wish I belonged to a CSA - so many great stuff you got :)

  4. I love adding veggies to mac and cheese. Makes my comfort food seem so much healthier ;)

    That pest looks wonderful! And the baby adorable. Has anyone ever told you that you look like your friend?

  5. That mac and cheese looks awesome! It's so colorful and all the veggies in there can actually make you think it's better for you. :)

    Those are definitely green tomatoes. Tomatillos almost look like they have a wrapper on them... like a corn husk, sort of. I love fried green tomatoes!

  6. Can I come over for mac & cheese?! That's my favorite meal.
    Congrats to your friends on their little bambino!

  7. Great mac n cheese recipe - very seasonal and more balanced than the regular version (at least a bit!). I like adding extra veggies into dishes like this but haven't tried brussel sprouts!

  8. YUM!!! I'm loving anything with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Cheese (as you know :) And those Fried Green Tomatoes look amazing!!! And you know I got nothin' against kitchen cheating!

  9. That mac and cheese is an awesome idea!!! And it looks so beautiful :) I've heard lots about Pestos with Panache, but didn't realize they were sO Pretty! I totally need to try them; they sound amazing.


  10. A long run and lots of cooking/baking -- sounds like an awesome weekend to me! :) I'm so impressed by how well you meal-plan and make things for the entire week. One of these days, you're going to inspire me to do the same... ;)

    And baby Lillian is such a cutie-pie!