Another Alton Brown / Good Eats recipe. This one taught me a few lessons.
- Always read the entire recipe first
- Always read the entire recipe first
- Dropping eggs on carpets tends to be messy
- Go fetch everything the recipe calls for before starting
- Timing, timing, timing …
I altered the recipe a bit based on what I had available, here is what I used:
- 1/2 of elbow macaroni
- 3 tbs butter + 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 tbs powdered mustard
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 medium egg
- 5 oz mild yellow cheddar
- 5 oz colby
- 5 oz monterey jack
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To save you a little pain, do all this first…
Shred the cheeses if they aren’t already and mix together. Dice the onion and set aside. Mix the flour and mustard together and set aside. Lightly whip egg in small bowl and set aside. Premeasure the 3 cups of milk and set aside. Measure out the butter into 2 containers and let come to room temperature.
First, realize the following things which affect timing:
- Al dente elbows takes roughly 6-7 minutes
- Starting the sauce to simmer below will be roughly 15 minutes before mixing in the cheese
- melting in 10oz of the cheese while stirring and keeping everything smooth took about 3-4 minutes
- Prepping the panko took 2 minutes as my butter was straight from the fridge
So, In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente, pull from stove and drain completely when the sauce is at the simmering stage.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
The end result was happily eaten by my picky 3 year old who was happy to be served Mac n Cheese for dinner.
Original Recipe here: link
So my chicken soup recipe is generally a moving target. I tend to use the leftover chicken from either rotisserie or something similar. This time I used the leftover chicken I had from the meal two nights earlier. Although I’ve made this soup quite a few times, this is the first time I’ve ever measured anything.
Karl’s Chicken Soup – Makes roughly 4 bowls.
- Half a chicken. Follow the 55 cloves and a chicken recipe from Jan 2nd.
- One large white onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large stalk of celery
- 16oz of white wine
- 16oz of water
- 16oz of chicken stock
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1/2lb of pasta (Farfalle) if desired
A traditional Mirepoix has a 2:1:1 ratio of onions, carrots, and celery. While I think they carrots and celery contribute to the taste of the final product, I’m not a big fan of those vegetables cooked so I tend to skimp on them. I dice the onion but the carrots and celery I purposely rough chop so its easy to fish back out of my bowl when I want to eat around them.
Remove all of the meat from the chicken bones. Put the meat back in the fridge and wrap the bones tightly in cheesecloth. I find this keeps the bones in one place and makes them easier to remove as a whole later. Fishing chicken bones out of individual portions of soup is not fun.
Take all the gelled fats/greases from the bottom of the chicken bowl and toss it in a large stockpot. Turn on high heat until it has all degelled and then add the onions and reduce the heat. If you tossed the fat/gell add a few swirls of olive oil to the pot and cook the onions in that.
Once the onions are a nice translucent color, add the carrots and celery. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the liquids to the pot. As to the wine, I use whatever white is currently open. I am always sure to use something that I would actually drink and not a cooking wine or anything ultra cheap. Add the chicken stock and water as well. Let this cook for a few minutes and then drop in the cheesecloth full of bones.
Bring the entire pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let it cook for as long as you’d like but pay attention to the amount of fluid left in the pot. If it gets too low, add some water. I tend to let it simmer for at least an hour, sometimes longer.
About 20 minutes before I plan on pulling it from the heat I add all of the chicken meat back in and let it warm up. If you planned on adding pasta, now is the time to start cooking that in a separate pot, otherwise just turn off the burner and cover the pot when the meat is warm.
Cook the pasta until its al dente. Al dente will be a moving target depending on the type and size of the pasta you chose, but for the Barilla brand Farfalle pasta I used most recently, it was about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and pour directly into the soup pot. Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes then just turn off the heat and cover.
Serve with fresh bread and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.
So we’ve split up chores a bit more at home. I’m doing the cooking now on all odd days. I’ll be posting recipes and reviews of foods as I cook them.
Jan 2 2010
I love Good Eats on Food TV. Its one of the few shows that I watch with any regularity. The first recipe for the year is slightly modified from his episode guide.
40 Cloves and a Chicken.
- 1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces - I used an already quartered chicken from Harris Teeter.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme – I used 3, my wife isn’t a big fan
- 40 peeled cloves garlic – I used 55 or so, I am a big fan. I took me 20 minutes to peel it all…
- Salt / Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. My Jenn-Airre oven seems to take about 25 minutes to preheat. It was the first time I’d ever baked anything in the oven that I was cooking (in 5 years…) and waiting for it to preheat threw off my meal time. Be warned or know your kitchen appliances
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss with a 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide fry pan or skillet over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve. I let it rest for closer to 20 while I prepped dinner for my 3 year old. I also had some fresh bread from Harris Teeters to go with it.
“You’re cooking more often.”
Total prep time was close to 30 minutes, oven time was 90 minutes and then another 30 to rest. The first dinner of the year was a success. Half the chicken was consumed and I put everything else including all of the delicious oil/chicken drippings at the bottom of the pan into a tupperware container and saved it for the next meal.
Original Recipe Here: link