November 20, 2012

at home in the curious city

Nutty Honey Mustard Brussel Sprouts
adapted from here

Friend Cindy was so kind to pass along this recipe from Oprah's Meatless Thanksgiving Menu. I cut some corners of course to save myself a little time and energy but it nonetheless turned out wonderfully. Firstly, do buy pre-prepped ingredients whenever possible. Secondly, the recipe called for boiling the lemons 1 hour prior to soften the peel for chopping, but an easy shortcut is to just zest the lemons. Lastly, throw in any nuts you have in your pantry to add a crunch to the dish since the chestnuts are soft. Pistachios are great because they add an earthy flavor which balances out the sweet honey mustard.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 lb brussel sprouts (ready to heat bag from Trader Joes)
6 oz chestnuts (peeled and cooked box from Trader Joes)
2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 sprig of fresh thyme
5 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the sauce, start by zesting and juicing the lemons. Then chop up the fresh thyme. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon, oil, mustard, honey, thyme, and salt/pepper.

Add brussel sprouts to a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add the pistachios, chestnuts, and brussel sprouts. Cook until the brussel sprouts are browned, around 15 minutes. Plate and drizzle the sauce over it and you're done!

Baked Mac and Cheese
adapted from this recipe

My favorite holiday is almost here! I tried my hand at this baked mac n cheese for a "Friendsgiving" dinner. Don't expect the extreme saltiness of a Kraft Mac N Cheese, but if you have normal tastebuds, you'll find this mac n cheese tasty. Mmmm!

8 oz of macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
salt and paper to taste
2 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up water to make the macaroni in a medium pot, and cook the macaroni according to the directions. At the same time, melt the butter in a large pot.

Add flour, salt, and pepper to the butter until well blended.

Add the milk and cream gradually. From the first pour of the milk until you turn off the stove, it's important to keep stirring so the sauce won't congeal or burn.

Once the milk and cream are mixed in, increase the heat, bring it to a boiling point, and boil for a couple minutes.  Reduce the flame to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it's simmering, the macaroni will be done around this time. Rinse it with some cold water and set aside.

Add shredded cheddar to the sauce one handful and at time until it's all melted and well mixed. The sauce will change from white to orange. Don't expect an electric orange like mac n cheese from the box.

Turn off the stove, and add the macaroni to the sauce. Stir until all the macaroni is well coated.

Transfer the macaroni to an ovensafe dish. I used a bread pan.

Sprinkle the top with the panko breadcrumbs, and bake for 20 minutes. The panko and cheese will brown. 

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