Brie and Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese

IMG_9450Hey all-  Larry’s on his way home for dinner–listening to a books on tape, I’ll bet, for his long commute.  And what’s for dinner?  Well, I pretty much scavenged around the kitchen to see what I could team up with some leftover ham, just waiting to be eaten.  A bit of cheddar, a chunk of brie, and pasta–always in the cupboard (like at your house).  And some asparagus to freshen it up a bit.  I thought of calling it “Clean out the fridge Macn’n’cheese”, but that sounded less than appealing.  It’s in the oven and the pre-dinner sampling was delicious.

8 oz. pasta (I used those tiny salad macaroni tubes)
1 cup ham, but to small bits
1 1/2 cups asparagus cut to short pieces
a few shakes of garlic salt
2 tab. butter
2 tab. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cheddar, grated
1 cup brie, cut to small bits
1 tab. bread crumbs.

IMG_9463Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain well.  Cook the asparagus in the microwave just 2 to 5 minutes (depending on how thick the stalks are)  in a dish of water sprinkled with garlic salt–until it is edible but still crispy.  Then in a nonstick pan, melt the butter, stir in the flour until it is a begins to bubble.  Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go.  When it’s all mixed and begins to thicken (about 5 minutes), stir in the cheddar and brie.  Then mix in the macaroni, ham and asparagus. and turn it all into a 2 quart baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and pop it into a 400 degree over for just 10 to 15 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce begins to bubble around the edges.

There. Dinner and cleaning out the fridge all at once.  Two birds with one stone.  With an apple almond salad and some crunchy bread it was a fine meal when Larry made it home.


Pasta with Garlicky Chicken and Spinach

Hello there– This recipe has a “secret ingredient” that gives it the delectable garlicky flavor– Served over egg noodles, it’s a complete main dish simple enough for everyday, but good enough to share with friends.  We had it when my friend Jenon came for her birthday dinner last week.  It hit the spot.

6 oz. egg noodles
2 large boneless chicken breasts
2 tab. olive oil
1  5 oz. package baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup milk
2 tab. flour
4 oz. Alouette (or Rondele) garlic and herb cheese (that’s the secret)
1 tab. thyme leaves
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions.  Then heat the oil in a nonstick pan and drop in the spinach and red pepper.  Stir and cook a couple minutes just until the spinach is wilted.  Remove from the pan.  Then cut the chicken into bite size bits and saute until browned in the same pan.  Mix the milk and flour by shaking it in a container with a lid.  Stir the flour & milk into the hot pan until it thickens.  Then stir in the cheese, thyme, garlic and  pepper until it’s a smooth sauce.  Add the spinach and peppers back to the pan.  Spread the drained noodles on a platter and top with the chicken and sauce.  Enjoy!!

Honey Lime Chicken

Hey there–  Honey–Lime–Cilantro.  On chicken.  That’s a recipe that I couldn’t resist trying out.  So last night when our parents came to dinner, I grilled it up along with cilantro rice (my favorite!), watermelon & cantaloupe (it IS summer) and a bright green salad with red and yellow tomatoes from Larry’s garden.  A table full of fresh.

2 chicken breasts, filleted
3 tab.  soy sauce
2 tab. honey
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab. lime juice
3 tab. cilantro, chopped finely

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise to make 2 or 3 thinner flat chicken pieces.  In a flat baking dish mix the soy sauce, honey, oil, garlic, lime juice and cilantro.  Stir them up well and then marinate the chicken in the mixture for a couple hours, turning occasionally.  Then grill the chicken about 4 minutes on each side on the bar-bque or in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Pretty simple and summery.  I’m going to try the same marinade on salmon and see how it comes out…