Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cheeseburger Mac –n- Cheese

It's beef-n-cheese time

This version of mac –n- cheese is one that we’ve wanted to share for some time.  It’s one cheesey dish to cut into that you’ll wanna add to your list of faves.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spatula
1 large mixing bowl

1 large stockpot
Olive oil
Cooking oil spray
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 (12 oz.) packs of elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
4 slices bacon
1 cup gouda cheese, grated
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1 aluminum baking pan
1 collander
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated
1 onion, chopped small
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
1 pint heavy cream
3 small chile peppers, minced
¼ Dijon mustard
1 lb ground beef, cooked and crumbled

Cooking and Directions:

Heat stock pot on medium-high heat.  Pour in olive oil, onion, garlic, and bacon.  Let ingredients sautee until onion turns translucent.  Gradually stir in all-purpose flour and milk.  Let the flour cook while constantly stirring.  This should form a slurry or rue.  Let the rue turn brown, which means the flour is cooked.  Add pepper, mustard, ground beef, and cream.  Continue to stir constantly.  Mix and pour in cheeses.  This should form a cheesey sauce.  Add the macaroni while tossing well.  Quickly remove pot from stove top.  Grease baking pan with cooking spray then add macaroni and cheese.  Spread out until level in pan.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Pour bread crumbs over mac-n-cheese.  Place baking pan in heated for 30 minutes.  Let bread crumbs form golden crust.  Remove mac-n-cheese once ½ hour has elapsed.  Let cheesey mac rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy.         

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Substitutes for Stuffed Peppers ala Mexico

Without Corno di Toro

The chili peppers lend heat and sweetness to our special recipe.  But what if you cannot find Italian Carmen peppers?  Remember that poblano, Anaheim chile, and even regular bell peppers can do instead.  We recommend farmers’ cheese or cottage cheese if you cannot find queso freco.  Meanwhile, substitute shrimp, canned salmon, or canned crab meat for the canned tuna for different twists on seafood flavors.  Lastly, eliminate the tuna all-together for real vegetarian fare.            

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Stuffed Peppers ala Mexico

A bit of Mexican enchilada

Slicing into one of these stuffed peppers is comfy, like meatloaf, but also spicy like hot tamales.  The carno di toro aka Carmen pepper provides a sweet and peppery skin that acts like a crust to seal in juices for this dish.  Look for the common “longhorn-shape” of these award-winning peppers that often grows longer than 8 inches in length.  We also need to mention that this recipe is a spin on our baked enchiladas recipe.  The green chile verde sauce does the trick in forming a binding ingredient for this rich meal. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Tuna Stuffed Chili Peppers ala Mexico

Spicy, cheesy, and seafoodie

We recommend this dish if you’re in the mood for some Mexican comfort food that’s spicy but also loaded with seafood flavor.  Here’s the recipe:

1 large mixing bowl
1 metal bowl
Aluminum foil
1 (28 oz.) can green chile enchilada sauce
1 pair metal tongs

1 baking pan
1 whole egg, beaten
2 (12 oz.) blocks, queso fresco, chopped into small cubes
8 – 12 Carmen (Corno di toro-type) peppers
2 (5 oz.) cans of tuna, drained
1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic toes, minced
Olive oil

Cooking and Directions:

Slightly roast peppers on stove-top with metal tongs.  Do not blacken.  Turn as needed.  Create blisters but do not char.  Place peppers in metal bowl and set aside.  Combine cheese, tuna, onion, garlic, and egg in mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Make a lengthwise incision in each pepper.  Remove seeds.  Repeat until all peppers are clean.  Carefully stuff peppers with tuna mixture as shown.  Position stuffed peppers on foil-lined baking pan.  Drizzle tops of peppers with olive oil.  Finally, pour green chile verde enchilada sauce in pan and around peppers.  Place peppers in oven for 1 hour or until cheese starts to brown.  Serve immediately.     

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: TruRoots Accents Sprouted Quinoa Trio

A trio of nutrition

The Mixed Stew crew recommends getting more quinoa into your diet.  We like this grain as a substitute for steamed rice.  Quinoa cooks up light and fluffy.  truRoots sprouted quinoa trio contain white, red, and black colored grains.  The spectrum of colors in this product results in a truly appetizing serving of quinoa.  This product features “sprouted quinoa” so you’ll sample a subtle difference in consistency compared to regular quinoa.  An 8 oz. pack of this premium product runs for $ 5.00 and up so shop around for the best price.  Expect approximately 6 servings if you follow the prep directions.     

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Mushy Peas Alternate Ingredients

Mush in Spice

What else can you do with this dish?  We suggest changing up the seasonings a bit.  For example, substitute the mint with basil, Thai basil, or cilantro.  Add garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, or pigeon peas to break up the green monotony.  Remember that a dash or two of garlic powder can work instead of using fresh garlic.  Lastly, use low-fat butter to significantly cut the calories.   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Minty Peas

British comfort food

This dish is a variant of “mushy peas,” which is a British staple.  The Mixed Stew was also inspired by Nando’s PERi-PERi Macho Peas.  It’s hard to mess up with this dish.  Presentation comes in second to taste and rustic charm.  Mashing the peas helps to infuse the green peas with spicy seasonings the off-set the natural sweetness of this green veggie.  We used cherry peppers that provide some extra grit without sacrificing peppery flavors.  DO NOT OVERMASH!  You want bruised peas but not a sludge or puree.  Remember that peas provide a great source of protein and dietary-fiber.