Comfort Food Mashup: Rasam Mac-n-Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

December 28, 2014

Rasam Mac-n-Cheese

This is one of those recipes born from a mixture of comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorites, and it’s not really mac-n-cheese to me unless I make it like I had it as a kid – with Velveeta. A few weeks ago I had a leftover hunk of Velveeta in the refrigerator, and I decided why not try this new recipe I saw on America’s Test Kitchen – a macaroni with tomatoes – with Velveeta cheese.

I’ve had other macaronis with tomatoes, most notably a lightened version from Martha Stewart eons ago, which is where the idea came from to top this dish with roasted tomatoes. It was good, even though truth be told, I’m not a huge tomato fan. I assume the darkened color the red lended the cheesy dish on ATK is what hooked me into wanting to try this dish. At the last minute, as I was about to pour the macaroni into a baking dish, I looked up and saw a vial of rasam powder in my spice rack. That’s when inspiration hit. I added a couple of spoonfuls of masala to my dish and stuck it into the oven. (more…)

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An adapted Madd Hatter recipe: Orecchiette with Portobellos and Arugula

October 17, 2013

Portobello and Arugula Pasta

One of my favorite quick go-to pastas has been a beef and arugula pasta with a dijon vinaigrette dressing that I posted a few years back. The first time I made this pasta, I remember my husband saying, “This would be really good with portobellos!”. I was so sure it would that, at the time, I wrote the recipe up with that suggestion for vegetarian-izing (and, incidentally, veganizing) the recipe. A week ago, I had some leftover arugula, so I decided to give this version a go, and what do you know, it was a hit! Still as quick and easy as the original, and still as flavorful. (more…)

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Veggie Spaghetti

August 23, 2013

Veggie Spaghetti

This is one of my go-to weeknight meals, and it is a great way to use up any random vegetables you may have left over. Growing up, my mom always dressed up marinara in a jar by sauteing some onions and beef (along with some other spices and peppers and such on occasion) before adding the marinara. I changed that up a bit, decided to forgo the beef and just use every veggie I had on hand. Everything is fair play – carrots, squash, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, kale, peppers – you name it, I’ve tossed it in my drug-through-the-garden spaghetti. The key is to always keep a few things on hand (more…)

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Recreating: L&L’s Macaroni Salad

May 6, 2013

Macaroni Salad

I have zero control when it comes to L&L Barbecue’s macaroni salad. I know on a single trip there, I will definitely consume two portions of mac salad, along with the scoop of rice and hefty amount of Kalua pork they serve. As I type, I’m not sure if I’ll make it through this post without running out to get an order. Mmmmmm!

I’ve tried quite a few times, unsuccessfully, to recreate the mac salad since I love it so much. Last week, I think I finally hit the nail on the head. After scouring the interwebs, looking for the divine answer, I stumbled upon a post that noted the secret was the amount of mayonnaise used in the salad. Use a lot. And by a lot, I mean, use more than you think, double that, then put another couple of hefty spoonfuls in. Then maybe just another dab for good measure. (more…)

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Another take on Bolognese sauce

February 18, 2013

Bolognese

Bolognese sauce is one of those foods that is always very similar from recipe to recipe, but with slight differences that seem starkly different. A while back I posted my recipe for Lasagne Verdi alla Bolognese, whose recipe was meat heavy and included a bit of prosciutto in addition to the beef, pork and pancetta. It was made with red wine and tomato paste for a rich flavor.

This recipe goes a bit toward the lighter route. White wine, tinned tomatoes, and a bit lighter on the meat portions. Lighter doesn’t mean less flavor, though. It leans on the richness of chicken livers and milk to bring this pasta dish to life. The result is a nuanced sauce that allows the tagliatelle to shine through.
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