My take on Macaroni and cheese, bacon style!

A few food items are always in my fridge, cheese, eggs and bacon.

A friend posted a recipe she tried last week on Facebook and I tinkered with it a little and came up with this new recipe.
I made it for The Boy and Himself and they deemed it good for a repeat.
If you can’t find the cheese I used you can substitute with cream cheese, garlic and parsley.

ETA: rinsing the pasta under cold water will stop the cooking process and also avoid melting the cheese too soon.
Also letting the meat cool off a little helps in this process.

Creamy, bacon bake.

1 box pasta (elbows, bow-ties or rotini)
Boursin cheese (not the low-fat kind)

boursib
1 cup grated cheese, I use half parmesan and mozzerella
4 slices of bacon
8 ounces of chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta to almost fully cooked, drain and set aside
Cook bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside
Sautee cut up chicken in bacon grease (or in 1 tbs butter, but trust me cooking it in the bacon fat enhances the flavor)
Drain fat from chicken and mix macaroni with bacon, chicken, cream and the cheeses.
Preheat the oven at 350
Coat an ovenproof dish with butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until all the cheese is melted.
Halfway stir the pasta so that the cheese coats all over (it stays creamier that way)
If you have a broiler give the dish a quick broil to get a crunchy crust.

Enjoy!

food

 

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It’s starting to feel like Fall finally!

I love soup and Split Pea is comfort food for me.

It’s a slow simmer in the crock pot so once you done the prep it’s a straight shot all by itself for hours.
This recipe is how my mom used to make it, there are variations where leeks and carrots are used but it comes out too heavy for me.

Oma’s Split Pea Soup

This recipe is for 4 people with enough left over for another meal. Reduce the peas and water by half if making it for 2 people or if you want no left overs.

2 bags green split peas (or 2 pounds)
1 medium sized celery root
1 pound beef shank
1 package salted pork
1 smoked sausage

Rinse peas, place in crock pot ( I have a 6 quart one)
Clean celery root by peeling it,cut celery root and salted pork in chunks
Add celery root, salted pork and beef shank to the crock pot
Cover with water, stirring a few times to get the peas wet.
Cook on low until peas fall apart, 6 hours depending on your crock pot.Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom or sides.
Remove bone and salted pork.
Using a stick blender or food processor blend the soup until smooth.
Cut up smoked sausage and add to soup.
You can cut up the salt pork in small pieces and add it to the soup. Be aware you need to let it sit for a little bit before you add salt in order not to oversalt it.
The soup will thicken if refrigerated, when reheating add some chicken stock to it and heat it slowly.

Enjoy!

Simple Dutch comfort food

My kids bought me a Creuset Dutch oven, I’ve always wanted one. They weigh a ton but are ideal for slow cooked foods on the stove.

The thick walls keep the heat and it’s very much like a slow cooker.

This dish is a very traditional dish, the vinegar gives it a bit of a tangy taste and the meat is tender.

Hachee (Hash)

5 onions
3 tbs butter
1.5 pounds stew meat (beef)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs flour
1 bouillon cube
2 tbs vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 bay laurel leaves
4 cloves

Cut onions and set aside
In butter saute the meat, add onions as meat is browning.
Sprinkle salt,pepper and flour over meat and onions and mix well.
Add boullion cube and enough water to almost cover the meat
Add vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and the cloves.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it simmer for 3 hours
Remove the bay leaves and the cloves
Taste the gravy and if needed add salt and pepper

Traditionally this dish is eaten with mashed potatoes and red cabbage.

Enjoy!

Typical Dutch, Oliebollen.

Right at the beginning of November all over the Netherlands food trucks are set up to sell a traditional pastry called Oliebollen
(oilballs)

I published this in May but now is more the time to make and eat these.

Traditionally these are eaten between Christmas and New Years Eve and are as Dutch as clogs and Gouda.

I haven’t been asked, yet, by my family to make them but I might indulge them this year and go for it.

1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast or 2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3/4 cup raisins
1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Break up the compressed yeast, and stir into the warm milk.
Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the raisins.
Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil.
Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy.
If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy.
Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners’ sugar dusted over them.
Eat them hot.

Enjoy!

When Himself is away..

Himself went on a trip, second one in two weeks.With only The Boy home my cooking becomes really really simple.

We had pizza yesterday and tonight I just didn’t know what to make. I’m not in the mood for anything and apparently The Boy all of a sudden wasn’t hungry. My 14 year old, not hungry? Call the newspapers!

So an old standby is being served today.

In the Netherlands this dish is eaten for dinner or lunch, the pancakes are thin and while most people add sweet toppings we like bacon or cheese on them. Bacon that is pre-cooked is good for this.

Pannekoeken (Dutch Pancakes)

1-2 eggs
1 cup milk
1tsp salt
1 cup flour
butter
beat eggs, add milk and salt
mix in flour until you get a good mixture, it should be thinner than American pancake batter
in skillet put a dollop of butter and our a thin layer of batter.
cook both sides until golden
If you decide to add bacon you need to add 2 pieces of bacon on top of the batter and then you flip the pancake over.
Cheese can be added when the pancake has cooked on both sides.

You’ll love this side dish, I promise.


Ask any Dutch person about “peertjes” and they might very well drool.

 

Growing up this was the one dish my mom could cook to perfection, maybe because she was the queen of all things simmered/cooked forever.

 

I’ve always made it for Christmas, and for the last 21 years for Thanksgiving as well, because it is a bit of a fancy side dish. One that doesn’t really fit well with an every day meal for us.

 

Peertjes or Pears in Red Wine sauce.
(this will serve up to 6 people)

 

6, hard Anjou pears
Bottle of cheap red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Peel pears and cut in 4 parts
Bring pears, wine and all other ingredients to a boil
Lower heat and let simmer until pears are soft.

 

You can bind the wine sauce with a little bit of corn starch if you want to eat it warm.
I always let the pears cool off and we eat it cold.

 

If you do bind it with corn starch, take a little bit of the sauce and stir a table spoon of corn starch until smooth.
Transfer to pan with pears and gently mix corn starch mixture in with pears/wine sauce.

 

Enjoy!

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