Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Steakhouse Sides

This is Fleming’s recipe for Chipotle Cheddar Mac and Cheese. I loved the addition of chili powder and I modified it by adding smoked cheddar cheese… the ingredient that really rounded out the flavor.

I know…it looks like a lot of ingredients and work but it is totally worth it.

I’m not a fan of leftovers but in this case, the dish tastes better the longer it sits in my refrigerator.

1 lb. Macaroni pasta
2 tsp. salt
1 T vegetable oil
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 T flour
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground white pepper

3-4 sclices of bacon (optional)
2/3 lb. smoked cheddar cheese, grated

¼ lb. Gouda
1/8 lb. Bleu
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
1 T vegetable oil
1 tsp. dried chipotle chili powder
3/4 cup panko crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil and add 2 tsp. salt. Add pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes. Drain pasta and cool under running water. Pasta should be slightly firm. Toss drained pasta in oil and set aside.

Fry and crumble bacon. Reserve.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onions and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes but do NOT brown. Add cream, half-and-half, salt and white pepper, and bring pot to a simmer. Cook until sauce is thick, about 5-6 minutes. Add cheeses and blend into sauce. Stir in cooked pasta and place into a  13 x 9 pan. Add bacon.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and chipotle chili powder. Heat for 30 seconds until pan starts to smoke. Remove from heat and quickly stir in bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the pasta and bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes one 13 x 9 pan.

I made this dish with Gruyère which is my favorite cheese to use when making a potato side. I also sliced these potatoes very thin with my mandolin. Next time, I’ll be sure to cut them a little thicker.

Classic Potato Gratin
Fine Cooking Magazine
2 lb. Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled
3 cups whipping or heavy cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3/4 cup finely shredded Gruyère, Emmental, or Comté
Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline, carefully cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (no thicker).
Put the potatoes in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the cream is boiling, stirring occasionally (very gently with a rubber spatula so you don't break up the slices).
When the cream boils, pour the mixture into a 2-1/2- or 3-qt. baking dish. If you don't want a tender but garlicky surprise mouthful, remove and discard the garlic cloves. Shake the dish a bit to let the slices settle and then sprinkle the surface with the cheese.
Bake in the hot oven until the top is deep golden brown, the cream has thickened, and the potatoes are extremely tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Don't worry if the dish looks too liquid at this point; it will set up as it cools a bit. Before serving, let the potatoes cool until they're very warm but not hot (at least 15 minutes) or serve them at room temperature.