September 12, 2008

Mac and Cheese Lorraine

Oh, Rachael Ray: when will you learn that we aren't all professional chefs? This meal says "mac and cheese" in it and "lorraine" - in this case that means smoked bacon - so it must be simple and delicious, yes? Well, it's also too complicated for one person to manage easily. So grab your favorite cooking buddy and come along. This meal is three parts: two simple and one difficult. All of these parts can (and should) happen simultaneously, which is why I recommend a cute and capable partner.
The gentleman that I am, I took charge of the pasta and bacon and left the hard part to Marcella. Simply boil your favorite short-cut pasta and a fair quantity of smoked bacon. Remove the bacon from the frying pan or skillet and then add and caramelize the onions (about 10 minutes or so). For the last minute, add the white wine and cook it together or skip this part if you don't have white wine ready. The complex part is the cheese sauce. Melt the butter into a saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Oh, and that part is impossible; good luck. After a minute, whisk in the chicken stock and milk. Bring this to a boil, cooking for a few more minutes until thick. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese. Add nutmeg, mustard, and more salt and pepper. When this is finished, mix together the pasta and onions and stir in the sauce. Top each with bacon and enjoy!
The ingredients for Rachael Ray's Mac and Cheese Lorraine are:
  • a pound of short-cut pasta
  • a half pound of bacon, chopped up (more bacon is always better)
  • a tablespoon of olive oil for the pan in which we cook the bacon
  • two onions (less, if you want, but this much is actually OK), quartered and thinly sliced
  • a half cup of dry white wine (optional)
  • two tablespoons of butter
  • two tablespoons of flour
  • a cup of chicken stock
  • a cup of whole milk
  • two cups of shredded Gruy√®re (this cheese just keeps showing up, doesn't it?)
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • a tablespoon of Dijon mustard

September 2, 2008

Bacon-Feta Stuffed Chicken

For the past few weeks, my good friends Katie and Drew McCrory have been staying with me as they prepare to (hopefully) close on their (hopefully) new home. This meal, from the 24th of August, was made by them and, well, I think the pictures speak for just how delicious it was. The directions sound simple, but are not. Slice into the deepest part of your chicken breasts and fill them with feta cheese and bits of bacon. Cooking in a skillet with oil until browned would be simple if the chicken wasn't bulging and falling apart with delicious innards (doesn't the phrase "delicious innards" sound just appetizing?). Katie did a fantastic job keeping the chicken together while flipping to cook the other side. Finish by adding the diced tomatoes. If you have a husband, he should prepare a luscious, Greek salad in the meantime, as Drew did. Since this is one of the best looking meals I've shown here, I'll just shut up now and let you see the pictures. Recipe below.
The ingredients to Taste of Home's (a site they recommend) Bacon-Feta Stuffed Chicken are:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon (more is OK, as always)
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta (for the chicken alone)
  • salt and pepper
  • a tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • a tablespoon of dried basil