Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rotini with Cheese

This is from the November 2010 Cooking Light magazine. I love this magazine but haven't been making too many recipes from it lately because of time and not always having all the ingredients on hand. But this one was easy and I had it all. I did make a few changes to it to suit my tastes. It was good but not great. However for an easy, quick weeknight meal, I'll take it!

  • 3 turkey bacon slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 5 cups hot cooked rotini (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed

1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter and oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add flour, and sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Gradually add 1 cup milk, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Add cheeses, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

2. Place pan over low heat. Stir in bacon, pasta, and peas; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, tossing to coat.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rigatoni di Gregorio

I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats in my google reader and it was right up our alley. And it was a score. We love pasta but this was different and delicious. I will say I have only been to Maggiano's once in my life so I have no idea what this dish tastes like in the restaurant but I do know we all loved it at Chez Jenn.

I made a little more so we could have leftovers and I substituted the heavy cream with light cream. I didn't have fresh herbs so we made due with the dried version. Annie's picture is WAY better than mine but in my defense, my camera is giving me trouble today. Still, this was a great meal, so thanks Annie!

12 oz. rigatoni
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 3 oz. each
½ cup chopped yellow onion
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup light cream
1 TBSP dried basil
1 TBSP dried oregano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. If necessary, turn down the heat to medium-low so the outside doesn’t brown too quickly. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan with the heat on medium-high. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been released and the onions are softened, about 5 minutes more. Mix in the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the wines, scraping with a spoon to deglaze the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chicken broth. Return Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in the cream, herbs and chicken and cook until heated through. Add in the Parmesan cheese and butter; mix until well blended and the butter is completely melted.

Add the cooked rigatoni to the pan and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan as desired.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Broccoli Mac & Cheese

To go with the meatballs I made broccoli mac & cheese. I need to get veggies in our dinner so without making another side, I went this route. It turned out pretty darn good and the family definitely enjoyed it.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
7 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
4 oz. swiss cheese
13 oz of rotini, penne or macaroni
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/3 cup panko
2 TBSP Smart Balance butter
1 head of broccoli, chopped and steamed

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Add 5 oz of the cheddar cheese and all of the swiss cheese; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in macaroni and salt and pepper liberally.

Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Mix in the broccoli. Top with the remaining extra cheddar cheese and the panko and dab the butter on top. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs Take 2

I've made these crockpot BBQ meatballs before and they never fail to be delicious. This time I changed it up a bit so here's the updated version.

1 lb. lean ground turkey
3/4 cup no salt bread crumbs
1 egg
1 packet veggie soup mix
1 TBSP worcestshire sauce

Roll into meatballs and bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 375.


1 cup chopped onion
2 cans tomato paste (12 ounces total)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth

Add all sauce ingredients to Crock Pot and stir well. Add meatballs and cook, covered, on low 3 hours.