Tag Archives: Comfort Food

Chicken and Broccoli Mac ‘n Cheese

So be honest, are you guys getting sick of cheese based sauces? Cause I kind of have one more….
Okay, since we have been doing roux based cheese sauces, I thought I would introduce you to one of my super duper easy dishes. To be honest, I think this picture shows the one and only time I have actually made it, but because it is so classic and so simple it is theoretically one of my favorites!

Okay, so basically it is homemade mac and cheese, but in this case with chicken and broccoli, but again it is one of those versatile dishes where you could throw in any protein and veggie, or leave them out altogether. Unlike most homemade mac and cheeses which are baked, this is designed to be more like the classic Mac n Cheese/Kraft Dinner (shout out to the Canadians in the room)…from your childhood, so no baking at all. Again, composed of just cooked pasta, cheese sauce, grilled chicken and steamed veggie…

 

Chicken and Broccoli Mac n Cheese

 

What I did:

  1. Make a cheese sauce:
    1. Make a roux of butter and rice flour (this will make it GF)
    2. Slowly add milk whisking as it thickens.
    3. Make it thinner than a typical sauce, and add a handful or two of cheese, which will further thicken it up.
  2. Make some macaroni
  3. Chop up some grilled chicken (I keep cooked diced chicken breast in the freezer at all times, defrost for a minute in the microwave and you’re good to go.)
  4. Steam a bit of veg
  5. Mix and serve!

 

Anyway, another super simple way to use a basic cheese sauce. Also this cheese sauce would do just fine in the freezer, so make a big(ish) batch and then freeze for even easier prep. So if ya’ll are getting sick of the creamy sauce-y dishes, I would love some suggestions for what to feature next. Consider the polls open in the comments. What do you want to see me make next?

Guten Appetit!

Tagged , , ,

Potatoes Au Gratin

Since I already discussed a bit about using a roux to make a cream sauce on Friday, I thought I would riff on that theme today with one of my all time favorite things to eat. Like in the history of mankind!

Potatoes Au Gratin (with kielbasa in this case.)

I know I have covered Potatoes Au Gratin in the past, but I am a tinkerer by nature, especially of foods I LOVE, and I have tinkered with this one quite a bit. Anyway, I have worked on getting a creamier consistency through using a cheese sauce. And since it will be super simple given last week’s discussion of Chicken Alfredo thought I would put it in here.

Potatoes Au Gratin

 

So basically the first step to any Potatoes Au Gratin is thinly sliced potatoes. If you don’t have a mandolin to make thin slices, you can usually pick one up at a Ross or HomeGoods or other discount store for under $10. Or just slice as thin and as consistently as you can. To make this size of a dish I would usually use a 3 medium potatoes, they stretch out much more than you would imagine since you basically thinly layer them. I recommend just slicing up how much you want, and then finding a dish to fit it in.

What I used: (no amounts today as I made this a while ago, and can’t remember. Sorry Megan.)

  • Potatoes, thinly sliced
  • Tillamook Cheddar, shredded
  • butter
  • rice flour
  • milk
  • salt and pepper
  • Beef Kielbasa (to make it a main instead of a side)

 

What I did:

  1. Turn oven on to 400F.
  2. Grease the pan you will bake it in, it is far better to go too big than too small, extra room on top will not hurt it. Mine in the pic above was a bit close to the top.
  3. Put a layer of potatoes into the dish, VERY lightly salt and pepper (it adds up!)
  4. Add sliced up kielbasa across the top (not necessarily a full layer)
  5. Sprinkle on a handful of cheese.
  6. Repeat 3, 4, and 5.
  7. Repeat 3.
  8. Now make the cheese sauce:
    1. Make a roux of butter and rice flour (this will make it GF)
    2. Slowly add milk whisking as it thickens.
    3. Make it thinner than a typical sauce, and add a handful or two of cheese, which will further thicken it up. You don’t want it too think as you want it to run in between everything.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes, trying to get it distributed throughout the dish.
  10. Add some more cheese to the top and bake it for about an hour or so. (Check at 40m and 50m)
  11. Should be browned on top and nice and bubbly.
  12. Let it sit for a few minutes to set up, or all the deliciousness will run all over your plate.

Guten Appetit!

Tagged , , ,

Chicken Alfredo

One of my favorite comfort foods is my variation on a classic: Chicken Alfredo. To make it just a tad healthier, and frankly even better I have added asparagus below. Basically this is composed of several parts: Cooked spaghetti (or any pasta obviously, the leftovers were awesome on fusilli), cooked diced chicken, lightly steamed vegetable (in this case asparagus) and a creamy alfredo-ish sauce. Which is what I will discuss here.

IMG_1905

 

What I used:

  • butter
  • rice flour (any flour works, I like rice flour’s consistency and GFness)
  • milk (or 1/2 and 1/2, but I used milk cause I needed to use it up)
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese

First thing you do is make a roux, which is at the core of most sauces, and might at first blush sound intimidatingly French. A roux basically is just a paste of a fat (in this case butter, but in a gravy might be meat drippings) and flour (I almost always use rice flour for the above mentioned reasons. And so if Aimee my GF cousin pops by I can still feed her.)  Estimates are serious guestimates. Be warned.

What to do:

  • Add a couple of tablespoons of butter to a pan and melt.
  • Once melted add a similar number of tablespoons of the flour. Mix with a whisk into a paste. (The thicker the paste the more you will thin it out. I like making mine rather thick so that I can make it go further on less butter. Anyways, this will always be trial and error)
  • Once it is a thick slightly bubbling mass you keep whisking.
  • While you continue to whisk at medium heat (pick up edges and corners, and the bottom so nothing burns) slowly add your milk. (Maybe a cup at first)
  • Then whisk it in, it will quickly at first, then in subsequent rounds slowly thicken.
  • Continue to whisk and add liquid until it is the desired thickness. (Dip a spoon in coating the back, run your finger through the sauce, if the line stays clean it is perfect.)
  • Add seasonings to taste.
  • Add shredded parmesan, and melt it in.
  • Add diced chicken and steamed veg.
  • Stir together and serve over cooked pasta with a sprinkling of parma overtop.
  • Enjoy creamy delicious Italian-ish comfort food.

Guten Appetit!

 

Tagged , , , , ,