Main Dish

Loaded Mac & Cheese

Add a lot of kick to an old favorite.

Loaded Mac & Cheese

1 (1 lb) box elbow pasta
1 (14 oz) pkg smoked sausage, sliced (I used McCormicks Grill Mates Montreal Steak)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbl season salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cups milk
6 cups shredded cheese (I used *Beechers No Woman and Sharp Cheddar)
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies, **drained well
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives, drained

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta in large pot as directed on package. While pasta cooks, saute sausage and onion; set aside. Prepare cream sauce by melting butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle flour over butter, mix and cook 2 minutes. Add season salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk, cook and whisk over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, remove from heat. In the large pot with pasta drained, throw in sausage, Rotel, green chilies, olives and cheese. Pour hot cream sauce over top of cheese and gently stir all together as cheese melts. Pour into sprayed 13″x9″ baking dish and bake about 15 minutes, just until heated through. Buttered bread crumbs or crumbled french fried onions can be added as a topping before baking if desired.

*Beechers is a Seattle based company but their award winning cheeses are sold in many locations including Costco. No Woman is flavored with Jamaican Jerk spices, so it adds a lot of flavor. You can substitute any flavorful cheese you like.

**Squeeze as much liquid out as possible so it doesn’t thin down the thickness & creaminess of the your mac & cheese.

Other flavorful main dish ideas:

Chile Relleno Casserole

Zucchini Crust Personal Pizza

Italian Meatballs

Main Dish

Beef & Sausage Butternut Squash Lasagna

I love finding new products that taste terrific, and this pasta sauce is a new favorite.  Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, I usually buy it at Costco but I have also seen it at grocery stores.  This is a lasagna I made using this incredible tasting sauce.

                       

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1 cup chopped onion
salt & pepper
1 jar Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic & oregano
1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire roasted tomates
1 (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 eggs
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg no-boil lasagne noodles

Preheat oven to 375°.  In large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, sausage, and onion, drain and season with salt and pepper.  Add pasta sauce and both cans diced tomatoes.

In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs, 2 cups mozzarella, and Parmesan.

Spray 13×9 baking pan with no-stick spray.  Spread 1½ cups meat sauce on bottom of pan.  Layer ingredients in following order:
4 noodles, overlapping, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of meat sauce, 1/3 of mozzarella.  Repeat two more times, ending with mozzarella on top.  Set baking pan on cookie sheet in case of spill over.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, covering last 15 minutes with foil.  Remove and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

If you are interested in Demarle bakeware and kitchen tools please visit mydemarleathome.com/kristenparker or simply click on the Demarle at Home logo below.

Main Dish, Side Dish

Favorite Mac & Cheese

Definite comfort food.  I usually have all the ingredients on hand and the whole family loves it!

Favorite Mac & Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 sm yellow onion, chopped
4 Tbl flour
4 cups whole milk
4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chili powder
4-5 cups sharp cheddar cheese or a mixture of cheeses
bread crumbs or french fried onions
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cook pasta as package directs, drain.  While waiting for water to boil for pasta, start sauce.  In large saucepan, heat 6 Tbl of butter and sauté onion.  Add flour and cook 3 minutes.  Add milk, salt, pepper and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until bubbles and thickens.  Turn off heat.  Add nutmeg, chili powder. Let cool a little before adding cheese so it does not curdle, stir to melt.  Pour over pasta, stir gently.  Pour into 13×9 pan, sprinkle, bread crumbs or fried onions, and dot with remaining butter.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Sometimes I add browned sausage or ground beef.  Stir in other ingredients like green chilies, diced tomatoes, or whatever you feel like at the time.