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“Mac Daddy” Macaroni and Cheese

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Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 pieces bacon, diced, cooked, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from foil and chop.

2. In a large saute pan, reheat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add roasted shallot and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in heavy cream and thyme. Reduce by a third. Stir in cheeses until melted, creamy and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and gently stir in pasta. Place in a 9X13 casserole dish.

3. In a small bowl, mix together diced bacon, bread crumbs, butter and parsley. Top Mac n Cheese with Panko mixture and bake uncovered at same heat until bubbling and lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve.

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Baked Eggs in Bacon Baskets

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Source: http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2009/02/baked-eggs-in-bacon-baskets.html

Ingredients

  • Bacon strips, number depends on how many “baskets” you will be making
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Chives
  • Eggs to match the number of bacon strips

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with PAM spray.

Lightly cook 12 strips of bacon (or how ever many baskets you are making).
Do NOT cook the bacon till crisp, but just enough to get rid of some of the grease. A few seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Coil your bacon slices around the wells of the muffin tin.

Crack an egg and pour into the well.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the chives and cheddar.

Bake them 375 for 10 minutes for a runny center (to soak up with toast), or 12 minutes for the scrambled & cheese version.

Use a spoon to remove the baskets and serve! They are so pretty and better than the usual bacon and eggs.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

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Source: http://ingoodtasteblog.net/in_good_taste/2011/06/worknight-dinner-creamy-avocado-pasta.html

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, to taste (Use one for a milder flavor, three if you love garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings of your choice of pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • Parmesan cheese (garnish, optional)

Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package. Meanwhile, place the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. and blend until smooth. Next, add the avocado, basil, and salt and process until the mixture has a smooth and creamy consistency. Some of the basil pieces might not be completely blended – that’s fine. Toss pasta with sauce and garnish with extra basil and Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Corn Chowder with Scallops and Bacon

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Source: http://ediblearia.com/2009/10/11/roasted-corn-chowder-with-scallops-and-bacon/

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1/2 large poblano chile
  • 1 red Fresno chile
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup fresh whole milk
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 6 oz dry sea scallops
  • 4 oz smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cultured butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Roast the poblano, Fresno, onion, garlic and 1/2 of the corn in a 450 degree oven until the peppers are blackened.  Place the peppers in a paper bag or under an inverted bowl to steam a bit- the skins will peel right off.

2. Pulse the uncooked corn in a blender with the milk, cream and smoked chili powder, then transfer to a heavy pot set over medium-low heat.  Stirring frequently, allow to simmer until reduced by 1/4.

3. Chop the roasted peppers, onion and garlic and add to the pan.  Stir to combine.

4. Meanwhile, sauté diced bacon over medium-high heat until well browned.  Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat and add 1 teaspoon butter, paprika and cilantro.  Add the scallops and sear until golden brown on both sides.  Transfer to the soup, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper if necessary and serve steaming hot.

Ina Garten’s Steakhouse Steaks with Roquefort Chive Sauce

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Serves 4

Ingredients

•    2 (10-ounce) filet mignon
•    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•    1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or sea salt)
•    1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
•    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, optional
•    Roquefort Chive Sauce, recipe follows

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Combine the fleur de sel and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.

4. When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides for about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes.

5. Top each steak with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the steaks until they reach 120 degrees F for rare or 125 degrees F for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer. (To test the steaks, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you’re actually testing the middle of the steak.)
Remove the steaks to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Serve hot with Roquefort Chive Sauce on the side.

Roquefort chive sauce:

•    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
•    2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled (4 ounces with rind)
•    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•    1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.

Steak and Ale’s Cajun Chicken Pasta

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This is the best cajun chicken pasta you will ever have. I found this recipe in a book called America’s Most Wanted Recipes. I made a few tweaks to the recipe because some of it was a little vague.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • Cajun seasoning (get the low sodium kind)
  • 2 cups alfredo sauce, homemade or store bought. (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HOMEMADE! Recipe follows.. and guess what? It’s the Olive Garden recipe. Sweet lord).
  • 16 ounces linguine pasta, cooked according to the package directions.
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomato
  • 1 cup sliced green onions

1. Dip the chicken into the melted butter and then rub it with some cajun seasoning. Make sure those babies are covered good.

2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat with some olive oil in the pan. It should be hot enough that when you sprinkle water in the pan, it dances. Cook the chicken breast about 8 minutes per side until it is no longer pink in the middle. Your chicken will be “blackened” now. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it sit for about 10 minutes before slicing it into strips.

3. Make that DELICIOUS sauce.

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 pound of butter (one stick)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a saucepan, combine butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Simmer until all is melted and mixed well. Add the Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Simmer for 15 ñ 20 minutes on low. You may wish to add a little salt and pepper.

4. Boil the pasta. Drain.

5. Toss the sauce with the pasta, then top it with the diced tomato, then the sliced chicken, and then garnish it with the green onions.

I highly recommend serving this with some delicious garlic bread.

I usually gauge how well a dish turns out by the number of times my mom says “MMMMMMMMMMM.” She wouldn’t shut up for the entire meal, so I assume it was delicious.