Friday, December 16, 2016

Comfort Plus!







Creamy Garlic Mac and Cheese 

Comfort plus describes this new Mac and Cheese recipe.  I mentioned last weekend that I want to make some macaroni and cheese for dinner.
 Hubby suggested that since it was the weekend we should try something new and not my tried and true recipe.  I had saved this recipe from a post by The Noble Pig, a blog from a winery out west that I have followed for years.   It has three different types of cheeses and a crispy breadcrumb topping.  Now the one thing about the topping is that my son for some reason says he doesn't like the bread crumb topping so when I sprinkled it over the top I left a small portion without the topping.

This dished turned out to be delicious.  We made sure we saved some for our daughter's return from college.  I will make this one again.
 
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
1 pound pasta (elbow, macaroni or any other pasta)
 
CRISPY TOPPING:
1½ tablespoons butter
⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
 
SAUCE:
¼ cup butter
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup flour (all purpose or plain)
4½ cups milk, divided (I used skim, but 2% or full fat are fine to use)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
salt and pepper, to season
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder (or a vegetable stock powder)
¾ cup low fat grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
6 ounces low fat mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS;
Boil pasta in salted water, according to packet instructions, until JUST al dente (do not over-boil)! Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

Preheat oven grill or broiler to 375°F.
To make the topping - Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the Panko breadcrumbs; stir to coat and cook until golden browned. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
To make the sauce:
Melt the ¼ cup of butter in the same pan / skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute). Whisk in the flour; continue to cook while whisking (or stirring) for at least 2 minutes. Reduce heat down to low; gradually whisk in 4 cups of the milk (about ¼ cup at a time), whisking between each addition to combine. Bring to a boil until beginning to thicken.

In a separate jug, combine the cornstarch and remaining ½ cup milk; whisk until lump free and stir through the white sauce to thicken completely. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bouillon powder.

Remove from heat and add in the cheddar, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, and the mozzarella slices. Stir through until all of the cheese has melted. Toss the pasta through the sauce until completely coated.
Top with the Panko and the remaining parmesan cheese. Broil (or grill) in oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until bubbling.

Allow to cool down slightly before serving.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Pork Tenderloins

Yesterday I wanted a recipe that was new, flavorful and easy.  We were spending the day decorating the tree and the rest of the house.  Hubby requested that whatever we had he didn't want something that we would easily make on a weeknight.

I found this recipe in my saved videos on Facebook from Tip Hero.  I had saved it quite awhile ago and remembered that it looked like it would be very tasty.  The video version seemed easy enough,  you just mixed the topping and pour it over the meat that was placed in the bottom of the Crockpot and cook for 6 hours on low.  I had all the ingredients on hand, but used two port tenderloins rather than a roast.  That probably reduced the calories some because there was n o fat on these tenderloins.

So, while dinner cooked,  we began decorating the tree.  Note began - we haven't finished yet!


INGREDIENTS

3 to 4 pounds pork loin roast or two tenderloins
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
⅔ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS


Place the pork loin roast in the inner pot of a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine the dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, salt, minced garlic, honey, soy sauce and Parmesan cheese, and mix well. Pour the sauce over the pork loin roast into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the cooked pork loin roast from the slow cooker, reserving the liquid. Shred the meat.
Add the reserved cooking liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced and thickened. Pour the reduced, thickened sauce over the shredded meat and serve.

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