A twist on Macaroni and cheese on Dec2 2011

by Lorieann | Print the article |


Today’ s  overcast and a great day for some comfort food!  I, like most Americans, enjoy a good meal of feel-good, comfort food on cloudy, overcast days and today is a fine example!  As I rose this morning,  I glanced into the ice box and the pantry and noticed a box of mac and cheese.   The brightly-colored box caught my eye as did two t-bone steaks, and I also took stock of the fresh and frozen herbs and  vegetables that I have available for a quick and easy weekend dinner.  Sometimes I buy packaged products and make a different variation to appease the taste of everyone in my home according to their taste and mine.


First, the t-bone steaks, I defrosted in the refrigerator the evening before, so after my morning coffee, I am ready to marinate and return to the ice box.

Drizzle olive oil on both sides and season with salt and fresh ground pepper from a pepper grinder; sprinkle with paprika, fresh grated garlic, three cloves for both steaks, fennel springs, if unavailable,  fresh parsley, cleaned and chopped, leaf portion only, fresh minced ginger or  ground ginger, paprika and let sit marinate until ready to reach your heat source.

Macaroni and Mozzarella cheese:  In a stock pot add vegetable bouillon, replacing water,  boiling and adding salt, as needed, I always use low-sodium stock and I add sea salt and perform a taste test of the water to reach desired saltiness.  I then add chopped, fresh green, yellow or red bell peppers, sometimes all of these  if available, and I boil for 3 to 5 minutes before adding my pasta to the water, after boiling all to completion, two minute before the pasta is al dente, I add my fresh-frozen peas, then checking again for salt and finally checking for all ingredients to be cooked to satisfaction.  Drain, do not rinse, separating your pasta, and adding a tablespoon of vinegar  immediately to hot pasta and season with fresh springs of parsley leaves, a few chopped and pitted black olives of your choice, I prefer  three to four black Mediterranean olives and green olives if available too.  Next I blend my pasta with a little bit of saffron spice for color and blend with  vegetables;adding salt if needed.


To cut down on salt, I may boil the olives in a small sauce pan filled with water , on the side to reduce the salt, though I usually only need to do that while adding cured olives to stews that are pressure -cooked.  Lastly, season with a  teaspoon of oregano and half a teaspoon of smoky cumin completing the recipe with small chunks of Mozzarella cheese or sharp cheddar cheese to desired creaminess and olive oil maybe a few teaspoons  and stir and let set in the refrigerator to marinate.

A small side salad of peeled, chopped Red, Ugly tomatoes, my favorite or Roma tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped green peppers,  three to four chopped Spanish olives, one to two teaspoons of equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and red, wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with a few pieces of red or green bell pepper slices for color and parsley sprigs.

Finish with apples ready to be sliced after dinner; served with a side of local honey to aid with allergy relief!

Dinner is prepared and all I need to do when dinner time arrives  is to let my t-bones  rest to room -temperature for a few minutes before  grilling  the steaks and while grilling; I can make  the fresh  small side salad and chop my apple slices. Bon appetit

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