Langostino Truffle Mac & Cheese

mac-and-cheese

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!

langostino

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
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Classic Lentil Soup Recipe

I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started lentil-soup-2out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!  -Contributor- Michelle Karam – Feb 2010

Ingredients

I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes cut into small cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked thru
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup plain tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and pepper. Allow to sweat or cook on the stovetop until the onions are translucent or you can see thru them. About 5 minutes. Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings and allow to cook on a med-low simmer for about one hour. Add spinach and cook for 10 more minutes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil on top… mmmmm!!!!

Optional Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked small pasta shells
  • ½ cup diced smoked ham (that will be added when the vegetables are sweating in the oil)
  • 1 sausage diced or sliced – spicy chicken sausage is excellent!
  • ½ cup canolini beans
  • ½ cup croutons – add upon serving

Effie’s Chicken & Lemon Potatoes

LemonGarlicChicken3

Almost every American child has had meatloaf for dinner…it’s common to us and an easy meal… well in Greece what would be considered their meatloaf is this fabulous chicken dish…I went to Greece when I was 19 years old with my mom and my cousin Danielle. To this day, it’s one of those trips that I think was one of, if not the BEST vacation of my life! The sites, the beaches, the people and mostly THE FOOD! Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were on that tiny island in Santorini!

One of them was Greek Chicken and Lemon Potatoes. I’m not a huge chicken lover and I find it to be bland sometimes, but this chicken… I can’t even begin to tell you! It was so moist and packed so much flavor and the potatoes were crispy and rich! For years after, I tried a hundred times to make it just like they did in Greece and it just wasn’t the same… that was until my cousin Danielle, who was with me on that amazing trip to Greece so many years ago, married a fantastic Greek man, who’s mom Effie knew exactly what I was talking about when I said I had eaten this potato and chicken dish while there… so she shared this recipe with me.

Thanks Effie! It really is true, you really can relive an entire memory through a dish. In this case, I’m back on that Greek Island having the time of my life!  -Michelle Karam

Ingredients

Potatoes:

6 Medium Yellow Potatoes Quartered

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 teaspoon oregano

½ cup lemon juice

Chicken:

1 whole chicken quartered

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

¾ garlic salt

2 tabespoons. butter melted

1/4 cup lemon juice

Peel & quarter the potatoes. Place in bowl and combine with all ingredients. Let marinate, mixing it every so often so chicken and potatoesthatpotatoes do not discolor or turn brown.

Combine all of your dry seasonings together in a bowl and rub all over both sides of your chicken pieces.

Place chicken, skin side up, in roasting pan and drizzle butter and lemon juice over the top. Add potatoes all around the sides of the chicken, juices included. Roast,uncovered, in preheated,395 degree oven for 45 min to 1 hour.