Friday, April 23, 2010

Jalapeno mac n cheese n cheese n cheese

Somehow I made it to the ripe old age of 38 without ever making homemade mac n cheese.
I decided to give it a try for a potluck at work.
How did I never know how easy this stuff is?

Jalapeno mac n cheese n cheese n cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni or shell pasta
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups half and half or whole milk

1 package (5.2 ounces) Boursin garlic and herb cheese
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (I used 2, but could have used 3)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used half panko, half fine bread crumbs)
3 tablespoons melted butter

Grease or spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or baking dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in boiling water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Add the milk or half-and-half and Boursin cheese. Cook, stirring, until hot and thickened. Add the cheese and peppers. Cook, stirring, until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Combine the sauce with the pasta and stir to blend. Spoon into prepared baking dish.

Toss melted butter and bread crumbs together and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

I like the bread crumbs to be pretty toasty, so I gave it a few minutes under the broiler to get them very golden and toasty.

This seemed to go over pretty well at the potluck. I made a big pan of it for that and a smaller pan for Nick and I to have for dinner with a salad on the side.

There were no leftovers at all.

I used two jalapenos in this, but I think one more would have been good for a little more heat.

Or, if you want more chile flavor but not more heat, maybe add in some roasted red pepper or a small can of chopped ortega chiles.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

grilled lamb chops with smoked paprika and garlic (and a link to lemony chick pea salad)

I got a nice little package of lamb at Trader Joe's and decided that I wanted to do something different than my normal grilled lamb chops with redcurrant glaze.
I really like the flavor and aroma of smoked paprika, so I decided to try a simple rub with garlic and smoked paprika and then cook the chops in the grill.

The chops I used are the small, lollipop type chops.

This recipe fits into the 3-4 ingredient category even though it is not from my 3-4 ingredient cookbook.

Grilled lamb chops with smoked paprika and garlic
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 small (lollipop) lamb chops
salt and pepper

Combine smoked paprika, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl.

Season chops with salt and pepper.

Rub the chops all over with the paprika-garlic rub and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Grill on high heat about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Boom. Done. Simple.

These were really good and really tender. It was a nice change from the sweeter redcurrant chops.

I served the lamb with lemony chick pea salad from Food & Wine's Web site and some sauteed mixed greens.