How to read recipes…
I know it may sound weird but reading a recipe with the intention of cooking it is different than reading anything else.
I believe you should read a recipe at a minimum of 3 times. Personally, I read them 5 times
- To see if you’re interested – glance over the ingredients (no allergens or ingredients you don’t eat?), time investment, tools needed to make sure it’s something you even want to pursue.
- (Optional Read) – go through your pantry and fridge/freezer to make a list of what you need to buy (this is optional because if you know you need everything no need to take the time to read it again)
- (Optional Read) – one more read to make sure you got everything from the store
- To get the ingredients prepared and tools ready – dice, measure & separate all ingredients so that everything is ready when you begin
- Follow the recipe to prepare the dish – this is the final read and there should be no surprises.
As long as you read for 1, 4, & 5 I think your cooking can and will be a success. Or you can be anal like me and over-prepare.
Either way it’s important to read any recipe thoroughly.
I remember first meeting my husband and discussing food and he mentioned how he only ate macaroni and cheese out of a box. Because that is what his grandmother served. My grandmother always made baked macaroni and cheese from scratch.
And since I’m the cook in the family he didn’t eat macaroni and cheese for a while.
I also grew up with macaroni and cheese being a side dish. I didn’t realize people ate it as a meal till I moved to the south. And they put extra things in it. Things like bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, ham, chicken etc. The only addition I will eat is lobster!
My original mistake with making lobster macaroni and cheese is that I thought I could just add lobster meat to my grandmother’s recipe.
After trying several lobster mac & cheese dishes at restaurants and some regular mac & cheese dishes (I only try them if they are baked). I began to pinpoint the differences I would need to do in order to create a recipe that worked for me.
This last time, I used langostinos because I had some in my freezer and they work well as a substitute for lobster in a pinch.
But use whatever you have.
Like I mentioned before, what’s important are the type of cheeses used and the liquid to solid ratio.
And just as with any recipe, play around with the ingredients. There are so many types of cheeses out there. Start with your favorites and go from there.
Remember it’s basically pasta, cheese and lobster. You really can’t go wrong with it.
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
A decadent and rich comfort food for any occasion
- 1 lb pasta (such as elbow, rigatoni, penne, ziti etc)
- 4 tbsp of butter, plus extra for baking pan
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp course ground pepper
- 3 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
- 1 cup each of 2-3 cheeses of your choice (I use gruyere, gouda and parmesan)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp of thyme (optional)
- 1 lb of lobster meat, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- whisk together, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp of thyme if using. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a bowl with lobster meat and 1 cup of cheese (1/3 of each cheese). Set aside
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter gently and whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Add in salt, pepper, dry mustard. Combine well.
- Add milk in 1/2 cup at a time while whisking constantly to remove any lumps that form. This is sometimes known as a white sauce or béchamel sauce.
- Once fully incorporated, let the sauce cook to thicken for 3-5 minutes.
- Slowly add in 2 cups of cheese (2/3 of each cheese). Whisk again to combine.
- Mix cheese sauce with pasta and lobster.
- Butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Gently pour macaroni and cheese into your baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes
- Bon Apetit
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
It’s January! The best month out of the year. The first month, my birthday month.
But one of the other great things about January is the cold weather that we finally get in this hot southern state. And cold weather means SOUP! I’m not a huge soup eater but sometimes I crave it. And today was one of those days.
And nothing beats a homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I tend to go all out using homemade chicken broth I keep frozen in my freezer but if you don’t have any substitute your favorite store bought brother. And if you want to save even more time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli section as well. Just keep an eye on the salt levels.
My kid prefers alphabet noodles so she can spell out her name, the rest of us prefer wide egg noodles. But this is also great with orzo, rice, couscous or even barley. Cook the pasta separately (but in chicken broth) so it doesn’t soak up all the delicious broth from the soup.
You can also add some last minute spinach for an extra boost of green veggies. The thing about Chicken Noodle Soup is, it’s so basic you can make it what you want. I love thyme, lemon and leeks added to mine. If you don’t like any of those flavors grab your favorites. This soup is so forgiving.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
A lovely rustic homemade soup filled with chicken flavor, noodles, and vegetables
- 3 quarts chicken broth or water (homemade or store bought)
- 1/2lb wide egg noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 qts chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup cooked chicken torn to pieces
- 1 lemon, plus zest
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- course ground pepper
- In a large stock pot of dutch oven, heat oil over med-low heat
- Sweat onions, celery, carrots and leeks until soft (season with a tsp of salt and pepper) and they begin to release their own juice
- Stir in garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes
- Add white wine if using allow it to reduce for 5 minutes
- Add broth and bay leaf, simmer for 1 hour
- Add chicken simmer for another 15 minutes
- Add juice of 1 lemon
- *If you are going to eat soup immediately you can cook the noodles in the soup now*
- Finish with fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove bay leaf before serving
- Cook noodles according to the package, omitting additional salt
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
feeding the world, one friend at a time
Growing up my parents instilled a strong sense of independence in my siblings and I. There are 2 boys and 2 girls and each of us had to learn to cook, sew, check your oil and change a tire.
So one night a week we each had to cook a meal for our family of 6. There weren’t any rules to what we could make but we had to do it ourselves. So from an early age, I’ve been cooking.
I could fry the perfect french fry by age 6.