Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mmm mmm good

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk (or you can substitute it for evaporated milk)
1 3/4 cups low-sodium broth
1 pound Colby cheese, shredded (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and toss with the breadcrumbs.
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the macaroni. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni and cook until almost tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the macaroni and leave it in the colander.
Wipe the pot dry, add the remaining 6 tablespoons, and melt over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, mustard mixture, and cayenne. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Bring to a simmer. Cook. whisking often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 6 minutes.
Off the heat, whisk in the Colby and cheddar until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the drained macaroni, breaking up any clumps, until well combine.
Pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I want more. NOW! :)

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil (making a foil sling), then coat lightly with cooking spray. Melt the chocolates, butter, and cocoa in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan using the foil sling and cutting into squares.


Parsley-Nut Pesto

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 cup pecans, walnuts, or whole blanched almonds, toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Toast the garlic in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and spotty brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate and let cool before peeling.
Process the peeled garlic, nuts, oil, parsley, and Parmesan in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When tossing the pesto with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the pesto.

Uhhh... SO SO...

I started really using the agave syrup lately, and LOVE it!  So much better than regular sugar.

All these recipes came from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

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