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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: June 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

I’m a huge fan of macaroni and cheese. It has to be one of my favorite comfort foods. I had seen this recipe quite a while back, but finally ended up making it one night when Eric was out. I was planning on making myself a sandwich for dinner, but then realized I had all the ingredients I needed to make this. I halved the recipe (my changes are reflected) and baked it in two souffle dishes. Eric had the leftovers for lunch the next day.


This macaroni and cheese was full of flavor. You have the option of eating it creamy or baking it. As good as it was straight from the pot, I simply can’t resist a good baked mac and cheese. I used a mixture cheddar and Mexican blend cheeses, but you can really use whatever you like (and have on hand). I made a few minor changes based on what I had available at home. I used shell pasta instead of macaroni and used skim milk in place of whole. Also, I omitted the dry mustard because I couldn’t find mine for the life of me. I did throw in a few other spices, and I honestly think you can add whatever spices suit your fancy.

Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients:
2 cups dried macaroni
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 heaping teaspoon dry mustard
1 egg, beaten (I used about half to mix in and poured a little on top before baking.)
1/2 pound cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Directions:
-Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
-In a small bowl, beat egg.
-In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour.
-Whisk together over medium-low heat.
-Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
-Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth.
-Cook for five minutes until very thick.
-Reduce heat to low.
-Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs.
-Whisk together till smooth.
-Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
-Add in cheese and stir to melt.
-Add salts and pepper.
-Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed.
-
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
-Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Source: Pioneer Woman


Pineapple Sorbet

In the summertime (or really, anytime if you live in Florida) it’s hard to resist a cool, refreshing dessert. This pineapple sorbet is perfect for the hot summer days that are upon us.

This was my first time making sorbet, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. The flavor was fruity and light. The ingredient list and effort required for this fantastic dessert is very minimal, making it the perfect treat to throw together any time. I topped mine with fresh raspberries, but it’s certainly just as good on its own.

Pineapple Sorbet
Ingredients:
1 whole pineapple
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vodka or rum

Directions:
-Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
-Peel and core the pineapple, then cut into chunks.
-Puree the pineapple and sugar syrup in a food processor or blender until smooth.
-Pour into a bowl and stir in the vodka or rum.
-Cover and chill for at least four hours before freezing in an ice cream maker.

Makes about 4 cups

Source: Adapted from Proceed with Caution


Roasted Corn Quesadillas

As I’ve said before, Eric and I love Tex-Mex food. These quesadillas are just oozing with Tex-Mex flavor, so naturally they’re a favorite of ours. Roasting the corn allows the sweet flavors to really shine.  The black beans, tomatoes and jalapenos go perfectly with the roasted corn.  The chipotle sour cream, which has just a bit of heat, enhances the smoky flavor of the quesadillas.  

This dish would make a great appetizer or vegetarian entree.  It comes together quickly, so it’s great for busy nights.


Roasted Corn Quesadillas
Ingredients:
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
1 cup sour cream
3 ears white corn on the cob
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 cup black beans
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons diced roasted red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves, divided
6 ounces Jack cheese, shredded
6 ounces Cheddar, shredded
8 medium flour tortillas
5 tablespoons, sliced green onions


Directions:
-Preheat grill to high. Preheat oven to 375°.
-Mix diced chipotle, lime juice and sour cream, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
-Over medium flame or on a grill pan, roast corn. 

-Let cool and cut kernels off cob.
-In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, jalapenos, red onions, and black beans.
-Saute until the onions are translucent. 

-Add the tomatoes, corn kernels and roasted bell pepper.
-Stir and saute for 3 minutes and add salt, pepper, cumin and 3 tablespoons of cilantro.
-Remove the pan from heat and let rest.
-Evenly distribute mixture, the remaining cilantro and cheeses among 4 tortillas. 

-Top with remaining tortillas.
-Place tortillas on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
-Cook for about 10 minutes, until cheeses have melted and the quesadillas are warmed through.
-Cut each into 6 pieces.
-Serve with chipotle sour cream garnished with green onions.

Source: Guy Fieri


Pan Roasted Asparagus

Eric and I make asparagus quite often, but steaming is the only method we’ve ever used to cook it. I was so excited when I found this recipe because I knew pan roasting would really bring out the flavor of the asparagus. Pan roasting left the asparagus crisp-tender, the perfect texture. This is a simple side dish that will brighten up any plate. If you’ve never tried asparagus, this is a great way to introduce yourself to it.


Pan-Roasted Asparagus
Bridget’s Note: Choose thin (less than ½-inch in diameter) asparagus for this recipe, as the thicker stalks won’t cook through evenly. Trim the asparagus by bending each stalk until it snaps. To double the recipe, use a 12-inch skillet.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces asparagus, washed and trimmed (see Note)
generous pinch salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
-Heat the oil in a medium not nonstick skillet over medium heat until it’s hot.
-Add the asparagus in a single layer and stir or shake to coat with oil.
-Continue to cook the asparagus until it’s crisp-tender, 5-8 minutes.

Serves 2

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles