Sunday, July 15, 2007

FO#7 - Garden Macaroni and Cheese

This was tonight's dinner.

I can't even describe to you how yummy this is. The recipe can was originally posted on the blog Slowly She Turned, but she has moved to a new host, and I can't find it in her archives anymore. Luckily, she cross-posted it at Slow Food Piedmont Triangle. The recipe is as simple as it is delicious.

3-4 c. cooked macaroni

3 T. butter

1 T. flour

1 c. milk

1 c. extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 c grated Parmesan

1/2 t. paprika

1/2 t. salt

black pepper to taste

About 3 c. finely chopped vegetables - I used:

2 c. broccoli

1/4 c. green pepper

1/4 c. carrots

1/2 c. onion

4 large leaves of basil, chopped

a stalk's worth of parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt 2 T. butter. Mix in 1 T. flour until smooth, and cook for a minute. Mix in the milk until smooth, and bring it up to boiling slowly, stirring often. Add the cheese and seasonings, saving some cheese for the top. Take it off the heat.

In a skillet, saute the chopped veggies and herbs in the remaining 1 T. butter for about 5 minutes, until bright and crunchy. Mix in the macaroni. Put the combination macaroni and vegetables into a buttered casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce over it and mix it all thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

The great thing is that there is so much built-in versatility. You can use any crunchy veggies you might have on hand. We used broccoli, yellow squash, red onion, and a little spinach. It is a great way to clean out the crisper!

FO#6 - New Potato Salad with Fennel

This was lunch on Saturday.

The potato salad is from a recipe in the July issue of Real Simple. It has new potatoes, fennel, creme fraiche, dill, and lemon juice. It is delicious! The new potatoes and fennel are from the farmer's market in Carrboro. They were both in the ground on Friday night. It is amazing what a difference fresh food makes! I think I may be reaching my limit on spaghetti, so I have been trying out new recipes.

The sandwich is an extra special grilled cheese, using the following:
Organic Whole-wheat sourdough
Havarti Cheese
Red Onion
I also smeared one of the slices of bread with a little creme-friache and fresh dill leftover from the potato salad.

I could get used to eating like this!

I am going to look into buying a panini-maker. It is hard to make grilled cheese in a skillet once you start adding a lot of other things, and an electric grill would not require so much butter on the bread. I think perhaps a regular George Foreman grill would make sandwiches as well, but I'm not sure about that. If anyone has any experience with these machines, I'd love to hear you thoughts.