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    Monday, June 25, 2007

    It's Winter - Time for Comfort Food.

    Chef Michael Smith made this up-market version of Macaroni Cheese.
    He popped in some lobster…I used scallops…this gave you a cross between Mac Cheese and Lobster/Scallop Mornay
    I halved the mixture. So there was leftovers for lunch.
    I have sent this to Ruth for her Presto Pasta Nights
    Have a look at her site there are some great recipes

    Julie from Noshtalgia had this recipe for spicy sugar snap peas.
    What a lovely accompaniment for our cheesy creamy pasta dish
    Check it out. Just click on Nostalgia above.

    This serves 6 people

    1 box of penne pasta
    115 gms of butter
    garlic cloves, chopped
    ½ cup of flour
    ½ cup of white wine
    375 mls of evaporated milk
    4 cups of milk
    1 tablespoon of paprika
    2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
    ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    225 gms of cheddar cheese, grated
    225 gms of Monterrey jack cheese, grated I used GruyereSea
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 one-pound lobsters, cooked and shelled
    Or 500 gms scallops cut in half2 cups of breadcrumbs

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Drop the pasta into boiling, salted water and cook until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Make sure the water tastes like a day at the beach, as the pasta will absorb it and become properly seasoned. The pasta should not be fully cooked; it should have just a touch of firmness when tasted.
    Drain well.

    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat,
    add garlic and cook for several minutes until it softens.
    Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms.
    Continue cooking for a few more minutes, in effect toasting the mixture and adding flavour to it.
    Slowly stir in the wine and continue mixing until smooth and then
    Add both milks, mixing well again.
    Continue whisking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
    Add paprika, Dijon, cayenne, salt, pepper and cheeses and stir until melted.
    (This is an excellent white sauce. Spicy and creamy.)

    Roughly chop lobster or scallop meat and add to the cheese mixture along with the pasta.
    Stir well to combine and check seasoning adjust if necessary.

    Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch ovenproof casserole or similar dish.
    Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake until the mixture is heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown,
    About 30 minutes.
    Yield: 6 servings

    Keeping on the Comfort Food Theme.
    I love Egg and Chips – a real Heart Stopper in it’s original state but I have devised a healthy version.
    When we lived in the UK in the 60’s I loved going to the little "Hole in the Wall Caffe" under the railway bridge in Isleworth.
    Their Fried Egg and Chips reigned but laden full of fat.

    I hate missing out on treats…so try this "better for you" dish . These potatoes are wonderful with anything really. Give them a go. You can use leftover baked potatoes but if cooking from scratch just cook them in the microwave.

    1 med cooked potato per person (skin on)
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Olive Oil
    2 poached eggs each and
    A dollop of tomato sauce (optional)

    Heat oven to 200C
    Flatten potatoes with a masher,

    Drizzle with olive oil and season with S & P
    and sprinkle some fennels seeds
    Bake 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy.

    Serve with poached eggs and sauce if you wish.

    Guaranteed scrumptious.

    Now one more really tasty treat.

    Perfect for winter days. Our grandson Joseph came to stay and he loves pies

    So I made
    Home Made Pies.

    In fact Mince, Mushroom and Cheese Home Made Pies
    I cooked them in these Pyrex dishes which are an excellent size.

    I actually had left over Mince and leftover Mushrooms which I mixed together.

    So to make the very simple mince.

    1 tablespoons olive oil
    500 gms hamburger mince
    1 onion chopped
    1 stalk celery finely sliced
    1 carrot finely chopped
    2-3 sprigs fresh time
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
    Splash white wine
    Beef stock
    Tomato Ketchup
    Cornflour mixed to a slurry with a little water

    Brown mince in a hot pan with a little oil, remove from pan.
    Add little more oil to pan and saute onions, celery and carrot till soft
    Return mince to pan season with S & P and stir well
    Add thyme sprigs and deglaze with wine, scraping all the tasty crunchy bits off the bottom.
    Add big dollop of your favourite ketchup and just cover with beef stock.
    Simmer about 15 minutes, thicken with cornflour slurry and cool.

    For the mushrooms

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 shallot finely chopped
    300 gms mushrooms (your choice)
    Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
    Slosh of Dry Sherry or Marsala wine
    1 teaspoon flour
    Little stock or water

    In a pan saute shallots in oil till translucent
    Thickly slice mushrooms and add to pan
    Cook till they brown
    Season with S & P
    Add Sherry and deglaze pan, stir well
    Add flour cook 2-3 minutes
    Add enough stock/water just to make a thick sauce.

    Mix cooled Mince and Mushrooms together.

    Line your pie dishes with Puff Pastry
    Fill with Meat mixture
    Cover with good handful of grated Gruyere cheese.
    Cover with pastry top.

    Bake in 195C oven about 30 minutes until golden brown.

    A little green salad is nice as an accompaniment but tomato ketchup is pretty good.


    Anali said...

    Joseph is so cute! Sitting like he's a little man! And the seafood mac + cheese sounds divine!

    So Simple said...

    Thanks Anali Yes he is cute...Our little Prince. So far the only boy.

    Ruth Daniels said...

    Joseph is indeed a handsome boy. Our only grandson is 6 months old, so we have a ways to go and plan on enjoying every moment.

    I love Michael Smith and try to catch his Chef at Home whenever I can on foodtv. So anything he does is great and I love, love, love the addition of scallops. It's on deck for this weekend.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Check back for the roundup a little later.

    sher said...

    Joseph is a doll! And I feel weak in the knees after looking at all that comfort food! Marvelous! I wish it wasn't so hot here--I would make that mac n' cheese tonight!

    So Simple said...

    Ruth Yes I am a huge fan of
    Michael Smith his Inn Chef was very popular with our family. Our granddaughter 3 at the time used to play the Inn Chef game she loved it.

    Thank you we think he is gorgeous too.

    Valli said...

    Everything looks so delicious on your blog. I have enjoyed browsing!! Thanks for sharing little tidbits of your life!!!

    So Simple said...

    I'm so glad you have enjoyed it.
    As you know it is so fun to blog.
    You meet so many great people