Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quick Cheese Blintzes




Traditional cheese blintzes involved making crepes.  This is a quick and more modern version using plain, old white bread – less mess and fuss…and very tasty for breakfast! 


INGREDIENTS:
1 (1 pound) loaf white bread
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
softened
        2 tablespoons milk
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1/2 cup butter, melted
        1 pint sour cream



DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a cookie sheet generously with non-stick cooking spray.



In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. 





3.

Trim crusts from bread.


Roll the slices flat.




This shows you the difference in thickness after rolling flat. 




In a large mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese, milk and vanilla until smooth. 





Spread this mixture onto each slice of flattened bread. 






Roll each bread slice up. 





Dip bread/cream cheese rolls in melted butter, roll the blintzes immediately in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.






Cut rolls into 1 inch pieces, if you'd like (I left them regular size). Arrange the blintzes on the prepared cookie sheet. 





Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream (optional). 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chorizo Mac 'N Cheese





A spicy and meaty play on mac 'n cheese!

Ingredients
1 lb. penne pasta
3 c. cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tsp. olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 package chorizo, casings removed and finely chopped
6 Tbsp.  butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 c. milk, warm
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 c. shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (2.7 oz.) can fried onions
Salt and pepper





Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander.
Cook pasta according to package directions

Add the cherry tomatoes to a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until visibly plump and softened.

Put tomatoes on foil-lined baking sheet & drizzle with oil. 
Add salt & pepper
Cook until they soften/start to blister
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Saute the chorizo in a saute pan until crisp. Remove.


Fry until you start seeing crispy edges forming around meat.

Take a moment to pre-warm your milk.  If it gets too hot, it may develop a filmon top.  Just skim it off and you're good to go.  You can also heat milk in the microwave, if you prefer.

Heating milk

If milk gets too hot, it will bubble and cause a film on top. 

Just skim top of heated milk off if a film forms from heating.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepot over medium heat.


Add flour, stirring for 1 minute. 




Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil.



Continue to whisk constantly (to prevent lumps). Stir while adding the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire.
Add Mustard Powder

Add Hot Sauce & Worcestershire 

Stir in the cheese; reserving 1/2 cup for the topping.  The mixture will thicken as the heat increases.



Thickened Sauce
Pour the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and mix well.


Add to a 3-quart casserole dish.

Add the chorizo and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Top with reserved cheese and the fried onions.


Bake for 35 minutes. Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking if refrigerated