Ideas for dinner tonight. Household and kitchen tips, recipes, tweaks. What's worked great, and not so great.
It’s not a good thing when you wake up and Jim Cantore is in town. He visits here far too often for my liking. We are on the Gulf Coast of Florida and Mr. Jim Cantore is, again, down the road on Pensacola Beach watching our beautiful waves. I cleared off the dock, and put the deck cushions in. I’m waiting a little longer to see if the furniture has to come in. I want comfort food! What’s better than mac and cheese? I want to use what’s in the fridge too, just incase we lose power. I’m going to give some hot italian sausage a go. I’ve never had the combo before, but what the heck, it might be good! Whenever you’re making a dish that you want melted cheese, make sure you use a good melter. A few examples of good melters are Gruyere, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gouda, Muenster & Asiago. Also, to prevent the cheese from separating into a greasy mess, you’ll have much better luck to make sure you shred it first, and melt over low to medium heat. High heat will separate it pretty quickly and make it not so appealing.
1 lb hot italian sausage, cut in 1/2″ slices and cooked through
12 oz (just about a full bag) of elbow macaroni cooked al dente, drained & set aside
4 T butter, 2T of it melted
1 1/2 T chopped parsley
1 1/2 T chopped basil
2 T flour
6 c shredded cheese (today I used a cheddar & monterey jack mixture, but use your favorite good melting cheese)
2 1/2 c milk
3 T stone ground mustard
1 1/2 t Tony Legner’s cat 5 food polish
1 t dried italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Spray Pam or lightly oil a large baking dish
In medium saucepan over medium low heat, melt 2 T butter. Add flour and whisk continuously until a nice golden roux.
Add the milk, stirring constantly. Add the cheese a handful at a time until melted and smooth. Add the mustard, Cat 5 seasoning, dried italian seasoning, stir. Add cooked macaroni and sausage, stir gently to blend well. Pour into the prepared baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix panko, melted butter, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of Cat 5. Distribute over the macaroni and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.