Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some Recipes

I have a couple of recipes that I make that are fairly easy and pretty darn good that I thought I'd share with ya. I put the ingredients in bold as I don't use standard recipe format.

The first is one I call Cheesy Potatoes. I like this recipe because I usually always have the ingredients on hand and it's a good 'clean out the fridge' recipe. This one freezes well too.
You will need 5 potatoes, peeled and sliced into about 1/4 in thick rounds. Boil them until they are soft enough to break when poked with a fork but not quite as soft as you would make them for mashed potatoes.
While they are cooking I shred or tear whatever cheese I have that needs to get eaten up in my fridge. This is usually just cheddar or colby but can often include mozzarella, provolone, swiss, etc. (again, whatever needs to be eaten).
I also use black forest ham, or bacon, but you can use what ever meat you have lying around (1/2lb is usually enough). Make sure the meat is cooked (again for me this step is already done because I am using leftovers) and cut up into about 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces or sufficiently crumbled if using a ground meat.
The oven should be heating up to 350 while you assemble your ingredients:
In a 9x9 pan (you can make this in a larger pan too, but of course you will need more ingredients) spread a couple of spoon fulls of sour cream over the bottom (I find that using the back of my spoon works better than a spatula for this dish). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put a layer of potatoes down then another layer of sour cream, salt, pepper. Sprinkle your cheese and meat onto the cream. Add another layer of potatoes, and repeat the process until your pan is full or your ingredients are used up. I try to reserve enough cheese to have on the top of the whole shebang so it gets a nice cheese crust on it. If your pan is really full you may want to put it onto a baking sheet in case of melt over but if it's not that full don't worry about it. Bake for 25 minutes. If you made a batch for the freezer it will take about an hour to bake from frozen.
This one re-heats really really well and will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. Don't be alarmed if you reheat in the microwave and hear lots of popping - the ham always pops when I reheat it.

Mac n Cheese.
This one is pretty basic, nothing fancy but seems to really hit the spot for my family. I like it much better than the stuff in the blue box.
This recipe will make 2 batches. You can make it together in a large pan (9x13) for a large family or two 9x9 pans and freeze one and just pop in in the oven for about an hour, uncovered.
Boil 24 oz of med shell pasta noodles (2 boxes - you can really use any kind of short noodle you want) according to directions on the box.
Meanwhile in a Large saucepan melt 1 stick butter. Whisk in 8 tablespoons of flour. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow to brown. SLOWLY add 5 cups milk (the warmer the better), whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, again, stirring very often. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste (more if you like it spicy) When sauce as boiled for about 2 minutes, slowly add about a pound of shredded cheddar. Again, this is a 'to taste' thing. I add a hand full at a time until it taste appropriately cheesy. For me that is about 6 handfuls of shredded cheddar. When your cheese is melted and taste's the way you want it to add it to the pot of drained pasta. Stir until well incorporated, then add another handful or two of cheese and stir (this gives it the nice gooey texture). Pour into your pan(s). Sprinkle with more cheese (what? it's called mac and cheese). Sprinkle with crushed (I use my blender) goldfish crackers, cheez-its or the like will work as well (about 1/2 cup for both batches).
Another thing that can be done with this one is to make only 1 box of noodles and only add 1/2 the sauce - then put the unused sauce in a container in the fridge to be added to noodles later in the week - this way you have a dinner that is just as easy as the blue box stuff - just boil your noodles and re-heat your sauce in a pan on the stove (have not tested this in the microwave yet). Add the sauce to your drained pasta and either eat as is or pour in a pan and bake with topping as above.
Hope the directions are clear enough to be as easy for you as they are for me.
If you try either of these lemme know how they turn out.

1 comment:

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I agree the potatoes are VERY yummy! The boys loved them when I made them this week, I'll be posting it soon :).

Yummy Mac and Cheese!

Sorry about today, I'm finally getting off the couch. UGH, Costco tomorrow!