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Old 12-02-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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Two Great Recipes

Over the last two nights, I made two dinner meals that came out perfect. Both were modifications to dishes I was familiar with. The reason I'm sharing them is that they are both easy, fast, inexpensive, and absolutely best of class, at least in my house. They are; first, made on top of the stove, cheese macaroni; and second, a dish which around her, we simply call Ralph (a name given to this delicious casserole when it was first concocted by my MOL. Don't worry, it doesn't look or taste like it's name, so feel free to name it something else at your house).

Cheese macaroni:
This is made entirely on top of the stove and produces a super rich and creamy version of this classic dish.

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat Penne or Gemelli pasta
1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, finely grated
1/8 cup high quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
1/8 cup Pecorino Romano, Parmisano Regiano, or Asiago Cheese, finely grated.
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. all purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. evaporated milk

Bring water to a boil. While it is heating, melt the butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Add the flour and whisk into a paste. Let cook over low heat for two minutes. Slowly add the evaporated milk while whisking until a smooth white sauce is formed. Add the salt. Remove from the heat. Slowly add the three cheeses, a little at a time, and whisk into the sauce, until all is combined. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing it down onto the sauce. Cover and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling liquid and cook for about ten minutes, or until al dente. After five minutes have elapsed, again stir the sauce to blend in any small clumps of cheese.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cheese sauce. Pour in 1 tbs. of either truffle oil, or your favorite olive oil and stir. Serve with green veggies (or a great salad) and your favorite sausage, such as a good kielbasas.

Ralph: This dish is usually made with ground beef that has been browned and mixed in with the other ingredients. But this time, I altered everything. Here's how it came together.

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1 whole onion, chopped coarsely
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced (you could also grate the carrot)
2 country style spare ribs, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes.
1 pkg. Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup
3 cups water
2 tbs. safflower oil

Heat the oil in a ten-inch skillet. Add the rice and stir around until it begins to turn white. Add the water and everything else except the meat. Stir to distribute all of the ingredients, cover, and turn down heat to a gentle simmer. Set timer for 30 minutes.

After 20 minutes has gone by, cook the meat until gently browned on all sides, in a heavy pan. Remove the meat from the pan, lightly salt, and set asided. Don't overcook. You want it tender and juicy.

De-glaze the pan with 1/2 cup water and add that to the rice mixture. Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Check it occasionally to make sure it doesn't dry out and scorch on the bottom. Stir it if necessary.

When the rice mixture is tender, serve by placing equal portions of meat on everyone's plate, and covering with the rice.

There's no need for gravy with this dish. The pork perfectly compliments the sweetness of the rice, onion, celery, and carrot. Serve with a garden salad together with a good raspberry vinaigrette.

I hope you try both of these as they came out so good at my house. I know you will love them.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 12-02-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
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Goodweed, I like the looks of "Ralph" and I never thought I would use THAT phrase on a cooking site! I'm going to give it a try. I only have wild and white rice in the house though. I also have some buckwheat which might work in this too. Thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North

Cheese macaroni:

Ingredients:

12 oz. condensed milk


Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Hey, 'weed, in the macaroni recipe, do you REALLY mean condensed milk? It's rather sweet and I don't think it would lend itself well to this dish. Did you really mean "evaporated" milk? Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:14 PM   #4
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Questions 1; I really can't say about the buckwheat. I have little experience with it except in flour form. I know the wild and white rice mixture will work very well. You could even add a bit of Sage or Thyme to this recipe, along with some black pepper (DW doesn't like pepper so I never add it to recipes except on my plate, or if I'm making seperate recipes for her and myself).

Qestion 2; Yuu're absolutely correct. I did indeed mean evaporated milk. I tend to think in tems of actual meaning. By definition, condensing of liquids is done through evaporation. Evaporated is actually misused in the context of condensed and evaporated milk.

Example; The water evaporated quickly in the hot sun.

Evaporated is acutally a verb, while on the can lable, it is used as a noun. But then again, the same is true of the term condensed, i.e.; Her thesis was condensed into a well structured summary.

I don't know. In this sentence, condensed is used as a part of a verb phrase. I've been away from English class too long.

In any case, don't use the sweetend stuff.

One more thing; I like bolder flavors than does my wife. And though the cheese macaroni came out so wonderfully creamy, with a nice and mellw cheese flavor, I'd change the ratio of cheeses, adding more of either the sharp cheddar, or more of the whichever Itallian cheese you'd use.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:31 PM   #5
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the cheese mac is almost exactly the same as I make it here too :)
I use full cream milk instead, only a little salted butter, and red leicester cheese (for the color mostly), what I lack in creams/butters I make up with the cheese, I guess when a recipe works, it just works!

as for the Ralph, I think I may just give that a shot :) I`m a fan of Rice dishes as it is, so this should be a nice treat :)

Kudos to ya!
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:07 PM   #6
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GW and YT - this is how I make my mac and cheese also - sometimes I use a mixture of different cheeses - just depends on what I have.
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:26 PM   #7
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My grandmother always made hers similar to the posted recipe, except she always used cream, butter and cheddar. It is still my favorite of all.
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:58 PM   #8
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Sounds great GW! Thanks for posting! I'll try to make your Cheese Mac when my little nephews come visiting over the holidays! You'll be happy to know that I also plan to serve them your pancakes for breakfast! :-D
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:14 PM   #9
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Both C&Ped. Thanks, Goodweed!
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