Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday Night Menu, Super Creamy Mac and Cheese with Spicy Chorizo, January 20, 2012

We got the new Saveur magazine and I saw this appetizer that sounds like something I make but done differently.  It's a hummus, which I tend to make a lot because it's so good and good for you, but the difference is the mushrooms of course that you fry and put over the top but also that it's dryer than normal.  Usually the olive oil is incorperated right into the hummus, but here you don't mix any in, it's all just drizzled over the top.  Same with the pine nuts that are toasted first and just sprinkled over the hummus on the serving dish.  Unique Eats on foodnetwork talked about this restaurant serving a mac and cheese with spicy chorizo mixed in and a filo filled with goat cheese and chorizo on top, as Tony and I watched it we both said "oh, that looks really good", so I had to make that the main dish.  For dessert I was drooling as I watched Laura Calder on French Food at Home make this orange cake, I had to do it.

Hummus with Wild Mushrooms

This was in the Saveur magazine as Hummus with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, but of course they weren't at the store so I found this mix of wild mushrooms (oyster, shiitaki and baby bella), I also grabbed a couple good looking trumpet mushrooms just in case I needed a bit more.  I found the recipe here on line.  I didn't use the Tahini because I know it would go to waste in my house ( it happened before I bought a whole thing, used a tablespoon and the rest just sat there).  Tahini is sesame paste which is good but I like my hummus without it just as much.  So what I did just to give it some sesame flavor was I bashed a couple tablespoons of the seeds in my mortar and pestle and just added that to the mix.  I also just shallow pan fried the mushrooms instead of the deep frying as the recipe directed me to do.  I of course made slightly less than half of the recipe because 6 cups is way too much hummus for me and Tony. We liked this a lot, nice and healthy too!

Super Creamy Mac and Cheese with Spicy Chorizo Topped with a Filo Package

So as I said above we saw the show Unique Eats and they talked about this dish but of course they don't tell you how it's done (they want you to go to their restaurant and buy a dish of it).  They said they used 3 special cheeses, and they said it's topped with a crispy filo triangle filled with goat's cheese and spicy chorizo.  So that tells me one of the cheeses they use is goat's cheese, the other two I decided to go with an aged Fontina and this other one at Whole Foods called Raclette Reading (I never had that one but the sign said it was a good melting cheese and so I gave it a shot).  Here is what I did...

I grated the two cheeses, about 1/4 lb each, of the Fontina and the Raclette Reading, I crumbled about 2 or 3 oz of the goat's cheese and put all the cheeses onto a small plate, set aside. 

Heat 4 Tbsp of butter in a skillet to melt and add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk; cook the flour for a minute or two; add 2 3/4 cups of warmed milk slowly while whisking; continue to whisk and cook this mixture for 8 minutes or so; remove the pan from the heat and add kosher salt to taste, a few grinds of fresh nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper and all the cheese; stir until the cheese has melted into the cream sauce; cook pasta (I used Strozzapreti, you can use elbow) until al dente; drain and toss with the cheese sauce; pour into a buttered baking dish and top with some fresh bread crumbs that you tossed with a little olive oil; bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the bread crumbs on top start to brown.


I was planning on doing roasted broccoli which I have done before and it is so good.  You break the broccoli down into florets and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place the florets onto a sheet pan and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until you get some nice toasty edges on the broccoli. I forgot to do this in advance, I was thinking too much about my mac and cheese so I ended up just steaming the broccoli and tossing it with butter, salt and pepper...this is good too.

Orange Almond Cake with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Mints

So I love these kinds of cakes that are moist and flavorful using almond flour, I love an olive oil cake with citrus, so this was so delicious looking to me.  Here is the recipe.  It was easy and very good!  I took mine out of the oven 10 minutes early and it was done, I also used a 9 inch spring form pan.  She didn't say what size pan she uses in the recipe, maybe she used a 7 or 8 inch and the timing would be longer like she says.  By the way for the "chocolate mints" I just melted some bittersweet chocolate and dipped in some fresh mint leaves, and let them harden on a sheet pan in the refrigerator. 

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