Monday, October 24, 2011

One Pot Mac & Cheese - UPDATED

I made one pot mac & cheese tonight and will certainly make it again.  It was pretty simple as long as you're willing to stand in the kitchen and stir a lot; kind of like with risotto.  You put the macaroni and milk in the pan and cook on low while the macaroni absorbs the milk.  This means no making a bechamel and no need for cream and butter (though I did add a small bit of butter).  The starch from the pasta along with the evaporation from the milk creates the thickness.  I didn't have elbow mac and used some small penne from TJs.  Perhaps that pasta is bigger but I found I needed about twice as much milk as called for.  That is fine since, like risotto, you can just keep adding liquid as you go.  I also put in a little more cheese - maybe 1/3 cup or so.  Next time I'll probably have it be a bit more liquid when I cover and let set so it isn't too thick.  When my pasta was done, I tossed in some broccoli and tuna and had myself a nice one pot meal.  Delicious!

Update:  Not so good as a leftover.  It gets a little to mushy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot !

Oh dear.  Got a little too close to the hot pot of Haitian Pumpkin Soup, I think.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Haitian Pumpkin Soup

This Haitian Pumpkin Soup will definitely become a Fall staple for me.  It is just yummy.  One major difference is that I don't use the blender to puree the squash. I use my immersion blender. If you don't have one and if you love to make soup, you should definitely invest in one.  It will cost between $20 and $50 depending on how fancy you want to get.  No more transferring ingredients to the blender in batches.  You just put the immersion blender in the pot and puree. Easy, breezy. 

I used butternut squash.  I also added some red chile flakes for more heat.  The jalapenos add flavor but no real heat since you don't chop them up.  I made the entire recipe but didn't put the capellini in the main batch.  I pulled out the amount I wanted and added capellini to that, cooking it until tender.  I don't like pasta in leftover soups because it gets too mushy.  The capellini will definitely thicken up the soup so don't worry if it looks a little thin before you add the pasta. 

I served this with a nice Savignon Blanc (Geyser Peak) and added a spoonful of crème fraiche to the soup bowl.  You don't see that here because I ate mine before I remembered to take a picture. 

Pumpkin! Custard!

I made Pumpkin with Custard last night.  It was pretty easy to make though finding the right pot with tray for the pumpkin was a challenge for my kitchen. The end result does look remarkably like the photo.  The custard is out of the world delicious with the cardamon, orange and nutmeg.  The pumpkin goes well with the custard... BUT.. I kept wanting to mush the pumpkin up and add some maple or brown sugar.  So though it is beautiful to look at, to be more practical I think next time I'd do a layered dish with some pumpkin mashed with butter, maple syrup, etc., on the bottom and then the custard on top. Cover and bake.   And, if I'm not in a pumpkin mood, I'd make the custard just by itself and probably eat the entire batch in one sitting.  Yum!!