Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Crabby Mac and Brie, Could It Get Any Better Than This?

I swear by all that is holy, this is one of the best dishes I have ever had!  It's a macaroni and cheese dish but with brie and crab meat.  This one is so different from your typical mac and cheese, that I would put this in it's own category.  It is delicately sweet.  I apologize for not sharing this golden recipe a lot sooner.  Dan and I were looking at recipes of things we'd want to watch for the big game this year with the Ravens against the 49ers.  We thought this one would be an excellent comfort food.  I am so upset that I didn't make more.  I am still craving this dish!

For this recipe, we did go with imitation fresh crab meat (flaked) since the real stuff is so expensive.  I ripped up the big chunks a little bit and very lightly coated the imitation crab meat with some seafood seasoning.

Crabby Mac and Brie

1 lb. Medium Shell Pasta
5 Tbsp Butter
1 Medium Sweet Onion (yellow works fine too), halved and thinly sliced
1/3 C Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 C Condensed Milk (NOT sweetened)
1 lb. Brie Cheese, Trimmed, Cut into Small Wedges, and Chopped (Reserve half of the wedges for topping)
12 oz Fresh cooked crabmeat (may use canned when drained, flaked and cartilage removed)
3 Slices White Bread (Leave out overnight to become stale or toast), Torn Apart into Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.  Lightly coat ramekins (or large casserole dish) with cooking spray; set aside.

Cook Pasta in a large pot of salted water.  Cook according to package directions, drain.  Return Pasta to large pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt Butter over medium-low heat.  Add Onion and cook about 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add Flour, Salt and Pepper; cook and stir about 1 minute or until combined.  Add Milk all at once.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Gradually add the chopped Brie Cheese; cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted.

Stir Cheese mixture into cooked pasta.  Fold in Crab.  Transfer to prepared baking dish(es).

Place Bread pieces in a food processor; cover and process until in coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle crumbs over Pasta mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 35 minutes or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown.  For the last 5 minutes of baking, top each dish with one of the reserved small Brie wedges (or if in big casserole, top by spacing out wedges).  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens on foodrepublic.com

Cheese Tortellini in Homemade Mushroom Sauce

I am a huge fan of finding out how to make something from scratch. I have little knowledge in how to make a variety of sauces, so when I came across this recipe on pinterest, I was instantly inspired.  It looked so good so we had to try it.  Dan really likes mushrooms, which I know is an added bonus.  This recipe is actually from Martha Stewart.  I tweeked some things since shitake mushrooms are a little bit more expensive and we like garlic.

Cheese Tortellini in Mushroom Sauce

9 oz Fresh Cheese Tortellini
4 tsp Olive Oil
8 oz Fresh Shitake Mushrooms, Stemmed, Caps Halved and Thinly Sliced
8 oz Fresh Bella Mushrooms, Stemmed, Caps Halved and Thinly Sliced
6 Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
2 C Water
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to Taste
6 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Cold Butter
2/3 C Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped

In a large pot of boiling SALTED water, cook Tortellini according to package instructions; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add Mushrooms and Garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until Mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add Water, season with Salt and Pepper.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add Tortellini, Parmesan, Butter and Parsley.  Toss to coat, serve.

Original Recipe Found on MarthaStewart.com

Down Home Chicken Pot Pie

One of the greatest cooking anxieties I have kept secret for a long time is to make pie crusts.  I had not made any pie crust from scratch up until recently.  I had heard many horror stories of how much of a pain it was to make pie crusts.  I decided to face my fears when it came to chicken pot pie.  I LOVE chicken pot pie.  I wanted to make some since I know the store bought ones are horrible for you.  I thought it would be good to try a homemade one.

This recipe is actually a mash-up of two recipes.  I ended up making some changes myself.  I know most chicken pot pie recipes call for peas.  My husband doesn't like peas, so I thought it would be good to exchange them for something else in this dish---green beans.

Please note that this dough recipe shouldn't be chilled.  It is much easier to deal with when it is not chilled.  Make sure dough is stiff.  Also, the cooking time for this was more like 45 minutes to an hour.  I kept the 30 minutes in the recipe in case you have a warmer oven.

Chicken Pot Pie

For Crusts:

2 C Flour
3/4 C Shortening
1/4 C Cold Water
1 Tbsp Onion Salt

For Filling:

1/4 C Butter (for sauce)
1/2 tsp Salt
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Onion
1 1/2 C Chicken Broth
3/4 C Sliced Mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter (for saute)
1 1/2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
1 Carrot, Finely Chopped
1 Celery Stalk, Finely Chopped
1 Potato, Peeled and Cubed
8 oz Frozen Green Beans

Combine Crust ingredients in a large bowl just until mixed.  DO NOT CHILL.  Roll out bottom pie crust and set in dish.  Roll out top crust and set aside.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees f.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cups Butter.  Blend in flour, salt, pepper and onion.  Gradually stir in chicken broth.  Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened.  In a separate pan, saute mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter, then stir into saucepan.  Stir in chicken, carrot, celery, green beans and potatoes.  Mix well and pour into bottom pie crust.  Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough.  Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown, and filling is bubbly.

I have used a mash-up of recipes from both from SWIZZLESTICKS and ANTIE DI on Allrecipes.com