Langostino Truffle Mac & Cheese

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We’ve all heard people say that “things happen in three’s” The trinity. The Triad. The Triangle. Britney Spears song 1,2,3…. yes, the magic combination of three. You get where I’m going with this… Well for me, my “magic 3” happens to be… Macaroni & Cheese, Truffles & Langostinos.

 
Now let’s break this down… let’s start with the basic Macaroni & Cheese. What’s there to say about it. It comes in a box with elbow macaroni that you boil in hot water for 7 ½ minutes exactly, drain and add a bunch of butter, a splash of milk and some bright orange powder to it to make it oh so cheesy! Right? WRONG!!!!! This macaroni and cheese alone if made with out theLangostinos or Truffle oil packs some SERIOUS flavor! The combination of cheeses, with the cream and butter…. It’s the Mac-Daddy of all Mac & Cheeses.

Then there’s the Truffle Oil…. Decadence is what comes to my mind when I think of Truffle Oil. The aroma alone just makes me do a happy dance. (No, I’m not showing you my happy dance!) It adds another dimension to it that I can’t even explain… you’d have to eat it. It’s a relatively inexpensive way of adding actual Truffles that can cost so much and is worth the initial investment, as such a small amount is generally used.

And finally Langostinos. You might be saying, what is a Langostino? Well, it’s debatable… some will say that it’s part of the crustacean family of crab & shrimp and others will say they’re like mini lobsters. I’m going to go with the latter, cause that’s what they taste like to me. Delicious little lobsters with a buttery delicate flavor!

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1 pound Langostino tails

1 pound Cavatappi Pasta

¾ stick of butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

½ cup Chipotle Gruyere, shredded

½ cup Fontina Cheese, shredded

½ cup Smoked Gruyere, shredded

½ cup Cheddar/Jack shredded

½ cup to 1 cup of plain bread crumbs

2 teaspoons Truffle Oil

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a pyrex dish with non stick spray

Add all of the cheese to a separate bowl and combine thoroughly

Cook pasta according to directions on the box

In a sauté pan add cream, milk, butter & truffle oil and bring to a low boil/simmer. Once butter is completely melted, add Langostinos. Allow to simmer for about 5-6 minutes.

Once pasta is fully cooked, begin assembly. Add a layer of pasta on the bottom of the pyrex. Follow with a layer of the combined cheeses, breadcrumbs and ½ of the Langostino/ cream sauce. Repeat same step again- only this time putting a final layer of cheese and breadcrumbs on top of the Langostinos to make a crispy crust on the top.

Place in the oven covered for 35 to 45 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Remove foil and allow to cook for another 10 minutes to turn to a golden brown on top.

**sidenote**

This recipe can also be done with Lobster Tails cut into pieces.

I use a Chipotle Gruyere to add a little smoky heat to the dish… you can use a Jalepeno Jack or any sort of cheese with a spice to it to add that flavor! Get creative with the cheeses! Use any type you really like!

A dash of mustard powder is great in this dish too if you like that flavor… it’ll make your guests say, “ I know that flavor! What’s in there?”

This freezes extremely well. If you don’t finish it all, put in smaller containers and just pull it out of the freezer any night of the week as a great side dish!
Recipe by Michelle Karam

New Orleans’ Style BBQ Shrimp

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Recipe by Michelle Karam

2 pounds of raw shrimp, deveined and peeled with tails on
2 cloves of garlic, minced 1/2 cup dry white wine or pale ale beer

1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lemon juiced
2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary finely chopped
salt and pepper
Melt butter in a deep skillet
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Add shrimp and all other ingredients into a large bowl and combine well.
 
Add into skillet with melted butter and cook on medium low heat until all the shrimp have turned a bright pink. Don’t overcook or else the shrimp will turn rubbery.
 
Slice some french baguette and use it to sop up the liquid! MMMM!!!!

Film and Foodie Review: Logan

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The more I think about it, the more I really like Logan.  I am a fan of X-Men movies.  I can’t admit to being a Comic Book geek but I have become a geek of the Super Hero genre over the years.   I listen to the proud nerds of all things comics and I know the word is Logan is the best thing since ice cream.

For me, I enjoyed the film.  Especially, the person to pay attention to is the little girl playing X23.   I know, I didn’t say spoiler alert but no one going to see Logan that is a fan doesn’t recognize that Dafne Keen is X23.   She is so expressive without words.

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As for Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, it is definitely different to see them as heroes at the end of their lives with fading powers or loosing the ability to control their powers.   Logan is a violent, poetic and some how quiet movie.  It has a sadness in tone.  Wolverine isn’t what is he used to be on some level. His character exhibits the epitome of the man’s man tough guy yet you know there is a battle of emotions and good guy pushed down inside.

Stephen Merchant, writer/producer of the British series, The Office stars as Caliban.  Also look for Eric LaSalle to appear in the film.

Watch the Film and Foodie Review 

 

Food Suggestion: Something bloody rare like a burger or steak.

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Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent.

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This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Roman Catholics and orthodox,[2] who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”[3]

Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

See More on Wikipedia

Film and Foodie Review: John Wick Chapter 2

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The next chapter in the saga of John Wick is compelling, smart and a surprisingly good follow up to the first film.   Everyone knew that after the success of the sleeper  hit found in the original John Wick that its sequel would be bigger but how could it be better.  I am not in the camp that this film is better or worse.   It is strikingly good for different reasons than the first.

The only thing that didn’t work for me was the horrendously high body count for a  guy who wants to walk away from the assassin’s life.  However,  he is pulled right back in.  No spoiler alert need, who doesn’t know that?

This film is equally as stylish as the first film and it gives us more to the legend of The Continental.   John Wick fans will not be disappointed.  He even has a formidable opponent.

The food:  Duck is eaten by one of the central characters.   So if this is an night out order Duck Confit, duck sliders or at home try your hand at making duck fat fries.  Click to See the recipe or duck confit sliders. (click to see recipe)

We also find out that when John Wick wants a stiff drink, Blanton’s bourbon whiskey is his thing.

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An International Dessert: Rum Balls

Rum balls are a truffle-like confection of sweet, dense cake or biscuit material flavoured rum-ballswith chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa. As their name implies, these cookies contain rum. Because they are not baked, the alcohol flavour and kick are not lost during preparation. This cookie is especially popular during the holiday season.

Typical Danish rum balls with different kinds of sprinkles

Rum balls are a popular Christmas treat in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Denmark (where they are called romkugler and enjoyed all the year round).

There are many different ways to make rum balls, as recipes vary from region to region and family to family. All rum balls must include chocolate and rum, but the rest of the ingredients vary in kind, form, and amount.

To make rum balls, the cake (or biscuit) material is crushed and mixed with cocoa and a moist binding ingredient, such as jam or condensed milk. Other optional ingredients can also be added, such as nuts. When the mixture holds together firmly, it is rolled into balls and then coated.

Click to See Rum Ball Recipe

Van Leewen Ice Cream: NY & LA

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If any thing truly positive has happened culinary-wise in the last decade, it is the advent of gourmet ice cream.  No more of the boring few flavors of my childhood which made always rather blah about ice cream   Now, thanks to companies like Van Leewen we have flavors like Earl Grey Tea, Ginger Small Kettle Candied Ginger,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and more.

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Enjoy Ginger Ice Cream with chunks of Ginger

Van Leewen has more locations in New York than Los Angeles.  However, both cities offer Food Trucks.

Visit the website for locations: http://www.vanleeuwenicecream.com/wbtyqmpq1t3s02f84b97vtf8wb2s7s

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Shop: A Portland and Los Angeles Delight

Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate, Honey Lavendar,  Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese, and  Freckled Woodblock Chocolate are just of the gourmet flavors you can experience at Salt & Straw Ice Cream shops.

Take 1

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To the Left (MCCN Editor having Honey lavender)

My friend who lived in the Portland Area recently moved to LA and asked I wanted to get ice cream.    Now, I don’t love ice cream.  I like it.  I crave it more when it is hot but gourmet ice can change your mind about what you know to be ice cream.  Nothing boring on the menu like plain old chocolate, ice cream or strawberry.  And the title of each flavor at this shop is likely to be more than one word.  Like popular yogurt shops they let you endlessly sample flavors.   Considering that the flavors are so different, it is best than you can before walking on the wild side.

Take 2

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The proof is in the putting when you can bring friends back to enjoy the experience with you.   We’re not selfish like Eddie Murphy’s famous comedy skit, ” I got some ice cream and you ain’t gone none. ”  No, the more the merrier when it comes to sharing in masterful taste experience.

Visit the website for locations:  http://saltandstraw.com/

The Joy of Theme Parties

Theme parties just take parties to another level whether it is choosing a color, a decade, pirates, sports, culture, holiday, red carpet or whatever floats your boat.   And believe or not Dollar and 99 Cent store are making it very affordable to do themes.   If you are crafty then visit craft and fabric stores.

 

Circa 198o’s

So Madonna, expose shoulder with strap> Now as for the Cake isn’t it awesome, seems doable.

Western

Some hay and a wagon wheel can go a long way:

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Baby Shower

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Pink and Gold

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Thanksgiving

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New Year’s Eve

MCCN Interview with La Nina del Mezcal interview

Interview from 3rd Annual Taste of Mexico:

Dave Miller: How did you get into doing Mezcal?

Cecilia:  Well um, kind of a long story but just to put it short… It was a trip that I took to Oaxaca about four or five years ago and the it was the first time I was there taking in the culture, taking in the people and the taste of Mezcal.  It occurred to me that people in Mexico were not appreciating it as they should so I started going back to Oaxaca and learning about Mezcal.  It is very extensive.  And then I started writing about it.  And that’s how the blog started and people started calling me la nina del Mezcal.  (Watch Interview for more)