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So for Valentines Day I decided to splurge and make a meal that my boyfriend has been wanting to make for a long time now. The ingredients are relatively expensive but last week Lobster tails were on sale at BigY for $6/ea so I bought a couple (and had a couple in my freezer from the last sale). I decided what better opportunity than Valentines to make a meal this special!

This is by no means a healthy meal AT ALL…. That being said it’s incredibly delicious and I can’t wait to make it again (though my budget and body are telling me NO!)

I used the Neely’s Lobster Mac n Cheese recipe from the Food Network:

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butterKosher salt
1 pound penne pasta
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
2 cups shredded Gruyere
2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.

In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.

Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.

Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley

Notes: It was hard to find Gruyere cheese at my supermarket and at first I was only able to find one which was imported and $9.00 for a block. There was a separate Boars Head brand section which had a block for $5.00 so I grabbed that one instead! Also another thing to note is that 2 cups shredded cheese = 1 8oz block of cheese (even though 8oz = 1 cup normally). I never realized that and almost doubled the cheese for the recipe!
I also used a plain jane Sauvignon Blanc (Sutter Home) for the wine in the recipe….

and we drank Adegaborba.pt Alentejo….

I did have to spend a little extra time at the gym this past week…but it was well worth it!

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So I had some fresh mozzarella that was almost to the point where it would go bad so I had to figure out a dish to incorporate it in…. I had a ton of Penne, Vodka Sauce, basil and chicken on hand so this is what I came up with:

Ingredients

1 Box Penne Pasta

1-2 Jars Vodka Sauce (I used Barilla)

Fresh Mozzarella (I used 2 packages of the small balls – can use fresh large balls)

Fresh Basil diced

1 lb Chicken Breast (cooked and pulled/cubed)

3-4 cloves Roasted Garlic (bake in foil w/olive oil for 10 min)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Boil pasta and drain.  Place in casserole dish and add one jar of Vodka sauce.  Add small mozzarella balls – or larger balls cut up to small pieces (but save some for the topping), fresh basil, roasted garlic, chicken pieces and stir to mix.  Add additional vodka sauce if desired.  Top with additional fresh mozzarella pieces and bake at 400 for 20-25 min.

Ended up with tons of leftovers and realized its a very Economical meal if you buy the Chicken and Sauces on sale.  Hope everyone enjoys….

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So i had some Baby Bella Mushrooms that needed to be used up and after contemplating many different recipes I decided to go with a Tuna Noodle Casserole since I had most ingredients on hand.  I took ideas from many different recipes I found and came up with my own lil rendition:

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb American Cheese (Deli slices preferably)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sleeve ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Saute mushroom slices in skillet with 1 tablespoon butter.
  3. Saute onion and garlic in skillet with 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  5. In a large bowl mix noodles, onion & garlic, 1 cup shredded cheese, peas, tuna, soup, sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and mushrooms. Transfer 1/2 of mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish and smooth flat with spatula.
  6. Lay down slices of American Cheese and then cover with remaining mixture.
  7. Lay down a few more slices of American Cheese on top and remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.
  8. Microwave 1/2 stick of butter in microwave safe bowl.  Once melted add ritz crackers and stir with fork until crackers are butter coated, then sprinkle on top of casserole.
  9. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is bubbly.

 

Yes I realize this recipe has tons of cheese which most Tuna Noodle Casserole recipes only called for either shredded cheddar or American but since I LOVE cheese I opted to go with both – and it turned out spectacularly cheesy!

For a healthier version – cut back on the cheese, use margarine instead of butter, 98% Fat Free Mushroom Soup, Lite Sour Cream and Skim Milk.

 

 

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