For the pasta:
For the pesto:
Source: Pinch of Yum
Pesto. There’s nothing better in the world. I’m always looking for new things to do with pesto, and these pictures are to die for. This seems like a great summer alternative to a baked ziti, and I really can’t wait to try it.
Disclaimer - I will not vouch for this pesto recipe. I have my own and it does not use kale or spinach. All basil all the time. I will post it imminently. Anyway, try it if you want to be healthier (I’ll admit, it sounds like a great way to get some veggies in your meal). I’ll stick to basil and cheese.
1 batch macaroni and cheese, well chilled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
about 1 cup breadcrumbs (seasoned if preferred; I used Trader Joe’s which are unseasoned)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Prepare mac ‘n cheese according to package directions/homemade recipe. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 3 days; I made these after 2 days. Chilling the mac ‘n cheese is an instrumental step and cannot be skipped because the cheese needs to congeal, solidify, and dry out a bit prior to baking the cheese balls. You may be able to speed this process up and shortcut it a bit by freezing the cooked mac ‘n cheese, but I have not tested it.
About 15 minutes prior to preparing the cheese balls, place the container of mac ‘n cheese in the freezer for a quick cold blast. Meanwhile, place flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate small bowls; set aside.
Preheat oven to 425F and line two baking sheets with Silpats, parchment paper, or aluminum foil (line baking sheets with something to save yourself cleanup work). Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on each baking sheet, smear it around with your hands; set baking sheets aside.
Remove mac ‘n cheese from the freezer and using a 1-inch cookie scoop or tablespoon-sized scoop, portion out and shape the balls, taking care not to make them larger than about 1-inch in diameter because after battering and breading, they become much larger in size. Depending on the type of noodles in your mac ‘n cheese, how cold, or how cheesy the mac ‘n cheese is, lightly hand-shaping the noodles into balls may be necessary rather than replying solely on a cookie scoop. Roll each ball through the flour, dip briefly in the egg, roll it through the breadcrumbs, and place it on baking sheet. Repeat until all balls have been battered, placing about 10 balls per baking tray.
Bake for 10 minutes (don’t be surprised if your smoke detector goes off), remove trays from oven and add 1 tablespoon of oil to each tray and smear it around, flip balls over, and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned and golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Source: Averie Cooks
Trader Joe’s has amazing mac and cheese balls. They are heavenly. So of course I’m looking for a copycat recipe. This seems to be the same basic recipe that’s mirrored on lots of different blogs. Basically, it seems like the steps are make a nice cheesy mac and cheese, chill, and roll in bread crumbs. I’m going to use Panko crumbs because I have a huge bag of them and no idea what to use them for. But it seems like this recipe is pretty versatile.
If you don’t want to make your own, check out Trader Joe’s version. They’re seriously incredible.
Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.
Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Splash in enough milk to make it pourable. Splash in pickle juice for extra flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
Place cooled macaroni in a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing. Toss and add more dressing if you’d like. (Dressing will seem a little thin, but it will thicken up as salad chills.)
Stir in olives, roasted red peppers (or pimentos), pickles, and green onions. Add more of any ingredient if you’d like more stuff going on! At the end, splash in a little more pickle juice and stir.
Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with sliced green onion to serve!
Source: The Pioneer Woman
So A doesn’t eat meat on Fridays. And the 4th of July is on a Friday. So I’m getting creative with our holiday meal this year. (Well actually not, because macaroni salad isn’t that creative. But when all you want are barbecued meats, I’m feeling like this is a stretch). Anyway, really excited to try out this recipe. It seems like it has all the best stuff. I’ll probably use ditalini instead of elbow macaroni (because I already have half a box in my pantry) and take some liberties with my add-ins (I’m thinking celery and carrots are a must, and I’ll have to nix the peppers…yay allergies!). But I think this looks like a great 4th of July recipe, both for vegetarians and those of you enjoying some summer BBQ.
A friend of mine invited us to her apartment in May for a dinner party. We all said we should make it a thing. We failed. So, I’m determined to actually make a dinner party happen sometime this month. But, it’s summer and my summer recipes are a challenge. So I’ve been having trouble planning. Here’s my tentative menu - tell me what you think!
Spinach Artichoke Dip (vegetarian)
Mozzarella Cheese Buns (vegetarian)
Mini Spinach Quiches (vegetarian)
Chocolate Cream Pie
Cook tortellini a couple of minutes less than package directions call for. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir to cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cauliflower, stir, and cook 1 minute. Splash in wine and broth, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit. Stir in cream and Parmesan and stir.
When the mixture is hot, stir in peas, ham, salt, and pepper. Allow them to heat up in the sauce. When the sauce is hot, stir in the tortellini. Check for seasonings, add more if needed, and serve with extra Parmesan and basil.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Summer vegetables. There’s nothing better. And something about pasta primavera always seems light and perfect for summer, even when you have a nice creamy sauce in it. Basically, can’t wait to try this. I’ll probably cut out the ham and use it for a vegetarian recipe, but I mean you can do so much with this recipe. I advise editing the veggies with whatever is in season and at the farmer’s market.
EDIT: I’m a fan. A was a fan. Basically, this was a hit. Cut down on the onions, and add some tomato in…it was a little cloyingly creamy and a bit of tomato would have really enhanced all the flavors. Also, I’m not a fan of the peas. But I don’t like peas ever. So something to think about. Also, don’t over-cheese the sauce. I’m always bad at that, because I get so excited about cheese. But you want the sauce to be thinner than cheesier.
Source: The Cookie Rookie
So I’ve been craving wings. And I also have some leftover chicken and hot sauce at home. Final piece of the puzzle - the bar near Columbia does some KICKASS buffalo chicken nachos. Like really, unbelievable. So I’ve decided buffalo chicken nachos are dinner tonight (I know. Healthy, and great for these 90 degree days…). Anyway, I don’t quite know how my bar gets their chicken so creamy and perfect, so it’ll be a bit of guess and test for me today. I like that this recipe uses sour cream and cream cheese. Seems like it’ll be good. I might sub some of the sour cream for blue cheese dressing though…get some of that blue cheese flavor in without actually putting crumbles in, since A doesn’t like them, and they’re too expensive to get just for me.
Anyway, I’m going to use this dip to make buffalo chicken nachos and they’re going to be legendary. That’s all.
EDIT:This did not turn out as deliciously as planned. I mean….go ahead and try it, but I think I’ve finally retired all my hopes of being able to recreate my bar’s buffalo chicken nachos. When I make it, it comes out too sour and saucy and just not right. I advise cutting the hot sauce in half, and maybe using the buffalo version of Franks instead of the regular hot sauce.
For the Dough:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
For the Caramelized Onions:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Potato and Cheese Filling:
- 1 medium russet potato (about 9 ounces), peeled and sliced 3/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ cup reserved chopped caramelized onions
- 1½ ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about ⅓ cup)
- 1½ ounces farmers cheese, cut into small pieces (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For Cooking and Serving:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, for sautéing
- Sour cream, for serving
1. Make the Pierogi Dough: Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 4 pulses. With the machine running, slowly add the whole egg, egg yolk, and oil through the feed tube until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add 4 tablespoons of the water until the dough forms a ball. If the dough doesn’t ball up, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, with the processor running until a dough ball forms (you may not use all the water).
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand until it firms slightly and becomes smooth, about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to relax for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
3. Make the Caramelized Onions: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until very soft and well browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Measure out ¼ cup of the onions, chop them fine, and reserve them for the filling. Cover the caramelized onions to keep warm.
4. Make the Potato and Cheese Filling: Cover the potatoes by 1 inch of water in a large saucepan and add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender and a fork can be slipped easily into the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes into a colander.
5. Set a food mill or ricer over a medium bowl and process the potatoes into the bowl. Add the caramelized onions. Stir in the cheeses and butter until incorporated and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly before filling the pierogi or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days.
6. Assemble the Pierogi: Dust a baking sheet liberally with flour; set aside. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, unwrap the dough and roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a 15-inch circle, about 1/16-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Carefully gather up the dough scraps, wrap them in plastic wrap, and set aside.
7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each dough round and moisten the edge of the dough round with water, using either your finger or a pastry brush. Fold the dough in half over the filling, making a half-moon shape. Pinch the seam along the edge to secure. Crimp the seam using the tines of a fork. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
8. Gently knead all of the dough scraps together into a ball and let relax for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out, cut, and assemble additional pierogi, discarding any remaining dough scraps.
MAKE-AHEAD NOTE: The towel-covered baking sheet of pierogi can be wrapped with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. The pierogi can also be frozen for up to 1 month; once completely frozen, the pierogi can be transferred to a zipper-lock bag. Do not thaw before boiling.
9. Cook the Pierogi: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and half the pierogi. Cook, stirring often, until the edges feel al dente, 5 to 6 minutes (8 to 10 minutes if frozen). Using a wire spider or slotted spoon, transfer the pierogi to a colander and set aside. Return the water to a boil and cook the remaining pierogi.
10. While the second batch of pierogi is boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the first batch of boiled and drained pierogi and sauté until golden on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the browned pierogi to a platter and cover to keep warm. Drain and sauté the remaining pierogi using the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle the caramelized onions over the top and serve with sour cream.
Source: Brown-Eyed Baker
Have you ever been to Seattle? Well, for about a year of my life, it seemed like I was there constantly. Well really, I was there three times. But still, three times is kind of a lot over the course of about a year and a half. Anyway in Seattle there’s Pike’s Place Market, and at Pike’s Place, there’s a pierogi shop. And they are AMAZING. I would eat nothing but those, except that there’s so much good food in Seattle that I only ever got one during a visit, and then would just dream about them from California. Anyway, I finally thought about maybe trying to make some myself and learned that as I suspected, they look way difficult. But, I’m going to do it anyway, someday. Personally, I’m a fan of having a little meat in the filling, so I’ll probably play around with this and see if I can throw in a few ounces of ground beef. Don’t know how versatile the recipe is yet, but if you try it, tell me how it goes!