Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creamy Mac and Cheese in the Rice Cooker

 Wolfgang Puck Stainless 10 C Rice Cooker BDRCRB010-611

I'm hungry for some macaroni and cheese. I have tweaked my mac and cheese recipe over time and ended up with this yummy version that we love! 
 I love my pressure cookers and use them to death, but I also love my rice cooker for fast meals too.  These are great for college students who are allowed to cook in their dorms or have their own place. Fast meals, cheap. You can make ziti and all sorts of things in this little machine.  It does all of the work for you and only one easy to clean bowl. 

Creamy Mac and Cheese in the Rice Cooker

Serves four

1½ c water
2 cups macaroni or small shells pasta
a dash of salt

Hit cook and walk away (this takes about 10-15 mins)

Then, when it goes into keep warm mode, open the lid, add:

1½ cups shredded cheese
1 cup milk, half and half or cream
¼ cup cream cheese cubed
¼ c sour cream
¼ c  parmesan cheese 
 (note: I don't really measure, just eye it, its not a big deal, its all good)
Put the lid back on and let the cheese melt or to make it go faster, hit cook but stir w a wooden spoon so not to over cook the cheeses. 

You can add hot sauce with the cheese if you want it buffalo style, or let everyone add their own to their bowl of it, if some don't like it hot. I love to add finely diced jalapenos to mine too when adding the cheese but again, some aren't into hot. 
You can also add chopped broccoli about halfway thru the cooking cycle to add some green veggies to it. 

Some people hate cream cheese, just sub in the same amount of sour cream (basically double the sour cream)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Okay this is going to be short and sweet.  My mom made this for my boys a few years ago and they loved it. It's so fast to make, especially if you use store bought Rotisserie Chicken or even canned chicken works.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
1 cup sour cream
½ C Louisiana Hot Sauce
3 cups cooked chicken

Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and hot sauce until smooth, stir in chicken.

Pour into an 8 inch baking dish (baking stones will keep it hot longer).  Bake at 350° for 18-22 mins.  Serve with crackers and celery.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Basil Pasta Dough

I LOVE is by far my very favorite herb.  It's a rainy day so I decided to make my homemade linguini with clam sauce and add some of the delicious basil that is in my herb garden to the pasta dough.

I cut the big stems out of the basil.
Oh there's the crackle blue polish some of you asked for a pic of. The pink undercoat was too loud. Light blue undercoat and dark blue crackle now.
It's one cut if you fold it in half.

Then throw it in the food processor and hit the spin button.
Then I just follow my pasta dough recipe
3 C flour
1 T salt
(give it a whirl)
In a measure cup, fork whisk 4 eggs and some oil (olive if you like, I have really grown to hate olive oil, I use grapeseed or avocado)
Pour into food processor and whirl for a min or two.

It's gonna look grainy.  Like cornmeal.  Dump it on the wooden cutting board or whatever ya knead on.

Knead together (I do half at a time, my hands are small)
If it seems dry, just run your hands under the water and continue to knead.

Than put it into plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours before getting out the rolling machine.

    I prefer the manual pasta machine, just because I can control the spin of it, and back up if I need to.  It's easy to do once you use it one time.  Cheaper too and you don't have to lug out your kitchen aid stand mixer to power the electric one.

You can roll this out to any desired pasta...keep it flat and uncut out of the pasta roller and make lasagna or manicotti.  I have a homemade ricotta recipe I make often that is super easy!  You must try it, its so much better than store bought ricotta.

This cookbook is really cool.  Giada even has a fried ravioli in it!  YUM  I will have to make that next!.  I love anything fried!

When you put it through the pasta machine, cut each half batch into about three or four and flatten it out slightly with the palms of your hand.  Then, on setting 2 (or the wide setting) roll it through, tugging upward slightly to lengthen it (that's what she said).

Fold in half and run it through on the same setting four times.  Then move the setting to the next smallest, 3 in my case. Run it through twice, tugging upwards without tearing it, to lengthen it. Do this twice at each setting up to setting five or six, whatever you prefer for thickness. I like mine a little thicker so I keep it on five.

You can lay it out and dry it out, I usually let mine dry a tad before I boil it. 
Boil about 4-5 mins. 
 This recipe makes the equivlent to one box of pasta.

YUM  I love to eat it raw....