02/10/14

Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls

Here’s another in a series of cheesy recipes I’ve been toying with, last week we looked at Roast Beef and Horseradish Cheddar Pretzel Subs (and yes, they’re as good as they sound), this week we’re going to take it to the next level with…

Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls.

Mac & Chese Egg Rolls

Yeah, we said that.

Thanks again to the folks at Cabot Creamery, who were kind enough to send me samples of several of their cheddar cheeses.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Founded in 1919, Cabot Creamery is a cooperative of 1,200 dairy farm families located throughout upstate New York and New England. They manage four plants in three states, employing over 1,000 people, who make award-winning cheeses, premium butter, light cheddars, flavored cheddars and rich Greek-Style Yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.

You can follow Cabot Creamery on Facebook, as well.


Seriously Sharp Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls.

Mac & Cheese
1/2lb macaroni or other medium tubular pasta
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs.  flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1.5 cups 2% milk (1 1/2 gal + 1 cup)
2 cups + 1/2 cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 lbs thick bacon, cooked & crumbled

Egg Rolls
8 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs water

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsMac & Cheese

Cook bacon. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and return to the pan you boiled it in. Set aside. (Mix in a little butter to keep the noodles from sticking)Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of butter.

Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and the smoked paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture has thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsTurn off the heat then add 2 cups of the freshly shredded cheddar cheese and stir until smooth.

Stir in the milk. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add bacon.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls
Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss  gently until all noodles are covered. Let cool to room temp.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsEgg Rolls

In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsLay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 of the mac & cheese mixture, and a little of the remaining shredded cheese on egg roll paper and fold the bottom corner up over the mixture.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsFold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll.

Bacon Mac & Cheese Egg RollsBrush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.

Mac & Cheese Egg Roll
Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown.
Mac & Cheese Egg Roll
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
Mac & Chese Egg Rolls
11/8/13

No Kid Hungry

no-kid-hungryAt hautemealz.com we sponsor several charities and non-profits through our outreach program, including The Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, Sparks of Hope, Impact NW, and the national No Kid Hungry campaign.

Our involvement includes financial contributions, volunteering our time and resources, auctioning off our private chef services at fundraisers, and preparing and serving meals for fundraising and outreach events.

No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals and teaches low-income families to cook healthy, affordable meals through its Cooking Matters program.

This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, public officials, nonprofits, business leaders and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities.

If you’re subscribed to a hautemealz.com menu plan, you’re a part of this outreach, and on behalf of ourselves, and those we support…thank you!

Chef Perry

10/1/13

International Food Blogger Conference 2013 – Seattle

IFBC Screen Shot

Ever wonder what the chefs here at hautemealz.com do when we’re not writing and testing new recipes for your weekly meal plans?

Well, last weekend, Chef Chris and I hopped a train up to Seattle to spend three days at the 2013 International Food Blogger Conference!

We had a fantastic time, met a lot of wonderful people, and even learned some new tricks (old dogs that we are) that we’ll be passing along to you in the next few weeks. Make sure to check out our posts on the Cocktails we came up with from our goodie bags, as well as my recipes for the Toasted Coconut Mallow S’mores, Candied Pecan Banana Muffins, and Farro & White Bean Salad.

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? Check out our free weekly meal plans and shopping lists! 

Here’s our video review of the the 2013 International Food Blogger Conference!

– Chef Perry

09/30/13

You may think you’ve had better banana nut muffins, but…

Candied Pecan Banana MuffinsOne of my best “great finds” at this year’s International Food Blogger Conference were the Sahale Maple Pecans that we received during the Live Blogging Session with Amazon.com.

6Chocked full of pecans, along with walnuts, and cherries, then glazed with maple and cinnamon, these were easily one of the best products we tried.

Straight from the bag, they’re crunchy, delicious, and addictive…but the first taste and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

You see, I make banana-bread muffins at home for my girls and, while I won’t say that they are the best banana-bread muffins in the entire universe…I’m telling you that whoever does make the best banana-bread muffins in the entire universe, well…I make them nervous.

And I’ll tell you another thing…these Sahale Maple Pecans did what I would have claimed just a week ago to be impossible…they made my banana-bread muffins even better!


Candied Pecan Banana Muffins
20 Muffins

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar + 2 tbsp.
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 over-ripe banana. frozen and thawed*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla
4 oz (1 bag) Sahale Maple Pecans with walnuts, cherries, and cinnamon.

Freezing the over-ripe bananas, and then thawing them, is the secret to this recipe. The end result is lovely “banana butter”…just be sure to peel your thawed bananas over the bowl!

Another plus with this method is that you can freeze a banana or two at a time until you have enough for the recipe, and you don’t have a fruit-fly attracting bunch of over-ripe bananas on your counter. The banana do no have to be black, just well spotted and slightly soft to the touch. They will blacken in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine 1 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Cream the butter and add sugars gradually, mix in eggs and bananas.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients well, and add them to the banana mixture. (I use my Kitchen-Aid)

Add your milk, sour cream and vanilla. Mix till combined.

Butter your muffin tins and fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way, tap tin on counter to work out any air bubbles.

Candied Pecan Banana Muffins

Sprinkle muffins with remaining sugar, and top evenly with Sahale Maple Pecan mixture.

Candied Pecan Banana Muffins

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? For super-simple, healthy and delicious dinner recipes, check out our FREE weekly meal plans and shopping lists!  Your free membership helps us teach as-risk youth valuable life skills!

4

Let cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning them out on a wire rack.

(Running a butter knife around the outside of each muffin will help prevent sticking.)

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
hautemealz.com

03/4/13

Secret #11: Real Food

Okay, it’s day 11 of our 20-Day/20-Part series of blog posts titled “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets of Professional Chefs”. Last post, we talked about Mise en Place, or preparing and putting in order what you need to cook.

Today, let’s talk about a personal soapbox of mine…using “real food” in your recipes. Our boxed, bottles, packaged, and preserved society would like you to think that “convenience foods” are, well…convenient.

Don’t believe it.

Good chefs know that, for flavor and nutrition, nothing beats the freshest possible ingredients. They also know that it really doesn’t cost any more…if you know what you’re doing!

Not expensive food, not even “fancy” food (though that can be a lot of fun, when you can swing it), but good, real, recognizable food.

pass-002

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