Gussied Up Mac ‘N’ Cheese

We found this recipe in a Southern Living magazine and just had to try it out !

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-oz.) package cavatappi pasta (we used corkscrew pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • ½ lb. andouille sausage, casings removed* (we used a whole pound of Roger Wood brand andouille)
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (16-oz.) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cut into 1-inch cubes (we used original Velveeta)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup freshly shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • ½ cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 (5-oz.) package unsalted kettle-cooked potato chips, crumbled (lightly salted potato chips may be substituted) (we used Lay’s Lightly Salted potato chips)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Look at the box the pasta came in for cooking instructions and follow those directions for the al dente results, adding that one tablespoon of salt to the water. Once cooked, drain the pasta and leave it off to the side for now (we put our pasta in a sealed mixing bowl so the pasta wouldn’t get dried out or stuck together).
  2. While the pasta’s cooking, quarter the andouille lengthwise. Now take each of the quartered pieces of andouille and slice them into ¼-inch-thick pieces.
  3. Take a Dutch oven out and set the heat to medium-high. Once the Dutch oven’s hot, toss the andouille in and let it cook for 3 minutes or until it looks browned around the edges, stirring constantly. Once browned around the edges, scoop out the andouille and lay it on a paper towel lined plate so any grease can drain off.
  4. Pour the cream into the Dutch oven and wait for it to come a simmer. As soon as you see the cream is at a simmer, turn the heat down to low and stir in the cheese product. Keep stirring until the cheese product has completely melted at which point you can add all the other cheeses in and toss the sausage back in, remembering to continue stirring constantly. Once all the cheeses have melted, turn off the heat and take the Dutch oven off the the stovetop. Stir the pasta in afterwards.
  5. Take a 3-quart baking dish or 12 (8-oz.) ramekins out and butter up the inside(s) of whichever one you go with (we used a 3-quart baking dish). Pour the Dutch oven mixture into the baking dish and top it with the potato chips you crushed earlier. Stick the dish in the oven for 20 minutes or until the dish is bubbly and looks browned. Take the dish out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

* This is how we removed the casing from the andouille:

We had trouble picking between all the scrumptious mac & cheese photos that we took so we’re posting several but really, is there such a thing as too many pictures of macaroni & cheese?

This is such a scrumptious comfort food dish. It’s creamy, the potato chips add a crunch to the dish. The pasta was perfect for catching all the sauce with. Naturally the andouille brought a ton of flavor to the dish as well. You do have to eat the mac & cheese when it’s hot though or else you’ll only be able to eat a small portion before feeling full.

We weren’t paid in any way to promote Southern Living, Roger Wood, Velveeta, or Lay’s.

Take care everybody !

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Pot Of Collards

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 chipotle chile peppers in adobe sauce, seeded and minced (we used 3 peppers and left the seeds in)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bunches of collards, chopped (about 10 cups) (we went with the 10 cup measurement)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • Hot sauce

Directions

  1. Take a large deep skillet or a soup pot (we used a soup pot) and pour the oil into it, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add in the onion, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to look slightly golden. Toss in the chipotles and garlic, continuing to stir for another 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the broth into the pot, waiting for a simmer to occur afterwards. Once simmering, add in the collards as well as the salt, making sure that the collards get completely folded in. Put a lid on the pot and at a low simmer, stir every couple of minutes so that you know all of the collards get in the broth at some point (we didn’t need to but you could add more broth into the pot if necessary). Once the collards look dark green and have become tender you can move onto the next step (they said it would take roughly 30 minutes for the collards to become tender but ours were tender in about half that time).
  3. Take the pot off the heat, adding in the lemon juice, black pepper and hot sauce (we didn’t add any black pepper and we didn’t feel like it needed any hot sauce since we had enough heat from the chipotles). Serve immediately.

This was delicious. The collard greens themselves have flavor, you can taste that smoky heat from the chipotles, but you’re missing out on the full potential of this dish if you don’t have the broth as well !

We got this recipe from Thug Kitchen 101.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Thug Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks (we wish we could remember the exact number but we used more than 6) (original recipe calls for baking potatoes but we used red potatoes)
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter, melted (we used ½ cup of margarine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (recipe calls for 1 garlic clove but it doesn’t hurt to add more based off your own preference)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Take a 12 x 8 or 13 x 9-inch baking dish out (we used a 12 x 8-inch baking dish the first time we tried this and eventually used a 13 x 9-inch baking dish so we could fit more potatoes in) and place the potatoes in i. In a small mixing bowl, add all the other ingredients in and stir them together. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, tossing so that the potatoes are evenly coated all over. Stick the baking dish in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until they’re crisp, lightly browned and are tender on the inside, stirring twice during the cooking process.

These are addictively scrumptious ! You could eat a whole baking dish worth of these just by yourself because they taste so delicious. The outside of the potatoes are nice and crispy and contrast wonderfully against the soft, tender inside. The garlic flavor comes through (not in a breath mint needed way though), the margarine makes the potatoes feely buttery without feeling greasy and you just want to scrape up any sauce left in the pan.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Skin-On Mashed Red Potatoes

This is the first mashed potato recipe we ever found that we just loved eating !

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, cubed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • Pepper, to taste (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 to 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream, warmed (we used one cup)

Directions

  1. Take your cut up potatoes and place them in a large pot. Add enough water to fully cover the potatoes. Bring the water up to a boil and leave the potatoes in for somewhere between 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. You’ll know they’re tender when you try to pierce the potato and it breaks apart easily or slides off the fork. Drain the potatoes once they’re tender and add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl afterwards.
  2. Once the potatoes are in the mixing bowl, add the margarine to the bowl and start mashing the potatoes up some (we used a potato masher for this) and then start pouring your desired amount of heavy whipping cream in. Continue mashing, adding the salt and pepper in as well until you reach your desired consistency.

Whether you call it smashed potatoes or skin-on mashed potatoes, this is a recipe you’ve got to try out at least once. It’s a perfect example of comfort food. Simple but scrumptious is the best way to describe it. You could be having a bad day but as soon as you eat these, your day starts to get better !

We’ve had this recipe for so long, we can’t remember where we originally found it.

Take care everybody !

Tilapia with Sautéed Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs (we used Panko)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided (we used kosher salt)
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. paprika (we used smoked paprika)
  • 4 tilapia fillets (6 oz. each)
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Take a shallow bowl and add the egg to it. Take another shallow bowl and add to it the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, ½ tsp. salt, garlic powder and the paprika, stirring to combine. Take each fillet and dip it in the egg first, followed by the bread crumb mixture.
  2. Take a large skillet out and pour 3 tablespoons of the oil in, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, add in the fish and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side (4 minutes per side did the job for us) or until the fish looks golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork. Once cooked, put them on a plate and keep them warm.
  3. In the same skillet you cooked the fish in, pour in the last of the oil. Once the oil’s hot again, add in the onion and cook until it’s tender. Toss in the garlic, cooking for another minute before mixing in the spinach, pepper flakes, pepper, and the remaining salt. Continuously stir for 3-4 minutes or until all of the spinach has wilted. Serve this on the side with the fish, sprinkling the spinach with the toasted walnuts.

The breadcrumb mixture was so good ! The tilapia was moist and flavorful and there was a butter-like flavor as well. The flavor of the spinach was really good and paired well with the fish as well. The walnuts add a nice texture and flavor to the dish as well.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Red Pepper

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used Colavita extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 tsp. butter (we used 1 Tbsp. salted butter)
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. fresh spinach
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt

Directions

  1. Take a non-stick skillet out and add the oil and butter to it, setting the heat to medium-low. Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s hot, toss the crushed red pepper and garlic into the skillet, cooking for 5 minutes, stirring now and then (we’ve never made it to the 5 minute mark and we stir continuously so the garlic can turn golden brown without getting burnt). Turn the heat up to medium-high and gradually add the spinach into the skillet, tossing the spinach constantly until all the spinach is in there and wilted (should take around 2 minutes). Add the salt in at the end, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.

This is such a simple, easy side dish to make. The flavor of the spinach, the heat from the crushed red pepper, the garlic flavor that definitely comes through (without making you feel like you need a breath mint afterwards) and the buttery feel in the mouth when you eat this, it’s awesome.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Colavita.

Take care everybody.

Braised Winter Greens

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup) (we went with the 1 cup measurement rather than mincing a whole onion)
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (we minced)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we used ¼ teaspoon)
  • 2 pounds kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed (we used collard greens)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Table salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon (we used 2 teaspoons)
  • Ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)

Directions

  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a Dutch oven and set the heat to medium. Once the oil’s shimmering, toss the onion in, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion’s softened and begins to brown. Now add in the garlic and pepper flakes, stirring until the garlic becomes fragrant, which could happen within a minute. Now toss half of the greens in and stir just long enough for the greens to start wilting (about 1 minute). Now add in what’s left of the greens along with the broth, water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Quickly put a lid on the Dutch oven and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook, stirring now and then, long enough for the greens to get tender. This should take 25-35 minutes if you chose to go with kale or 35-45 minutes for collards (we cooked our collards for 35 minutes).
  2. Take the lid off and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring now and then, until most of the liquid’s evaporated (bottom of the pot should look practically dry and the greens start sizzling), 8 to 12 minutes. Take the Dutch oven off the heat, stirring in 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice as well as the last tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and what’s left of the lemon juice (we didn’t add any pepper or that remaining teaspoon of lemon juice). Serve immediately.

This was so freaking delicious ! It’s supposed to serve 4 but you could end up eating this all by yourself ! The tart lemon juice balances out the bitterness of the collards, the olive oil at the end makes this feel so buttery in your mouth and the greens are nice and tender. We increased the red pepper flakes but still didn’t get much heat. If you don’t like much heat then we’d suggest leaving it as is but if you’re like us and like some good heat in your food then we’d suggest increasing the amount of pepper flakes even more. This is a perfect side dish for an everyday meal or serving as a side dish at a holiday meal !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !