Tag Archives: mac and cheese

Mac and Cheese Steak

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

My person has been going on for weeks about how incredible a cheesesteak made with mac and cheese instead of cheese sauce would be. This week, I gave in…

First, I marinated the steak in olive oil, balsamic, a little soy sauce, garlic, and SPCC (salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, otherwise known as the names of my future children). I used skirt steak and there is some debate about how long to let this particular cut of meat marinate for. If you have an opinion on this, please share in the comments!

Then, while the steak was a-marinating, I started the cheese sauce. I will be honest, this turned out a little strange, so if anyone has a better method, I’d be thrilled to hear of it. I started by sautéing some garlic, onions and jalapeños.

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Then I added equal parts butter and flour until I got a ‘lil rue going. Finally, once the rue turned brown, I started adding the milk and the cheese. I used a mixture of cheddar, fontina and gruyere cheeses — again, if anyone has better cheeses for mac and cheese, I am enthusiastically accepting suggestions 🙂

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The sauce was creamy and it tasted good, but the consistency was a little thin, that’s all. Perhaps I should have simply used less milk, but I managed by just adding more cheese. In the end, I had way too much cheese sauce, but who’s complaining?
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After I added my whole wheat elbows, which I recognize is a little like adding lettuce to a double cheese burger, but we all carry our little delusions. So, after I made this a healthy meal through the addition of whole wheat pasta, it was time to get that skillet hot and ready for the steak. mac and cheese steak, recipe, skirt steak recipe, mac and cheese recipe, homemade mac and cheese, comfort food

Since skirt steak is not a thick cut of meat, a searing-hot pan is paramount. Once that baby’s practically smoking, slam that steak down and hear that devilishly good hiss. …. Do you hear it? If not, next time the pan needs to be hotter. I only cooked this for two minutes on each side and then I let it rest for 10 minutes. Then I sliced it as thin as my knife would slice and it looked like this:
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If you like your meat cooked more than that, leave it on another minute or two. Then, after toasting the hero, I assembled this heart attack of a sammie: mac and cheese steak, recipe, skirt steak recipe, mac and cheese recipe, homemade mac and cheese, comfort foodAnd I saw that it was good.

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Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

So here’s how it went down:

Last week I was dying for something cheesy and delicious so I suggested we hit up our local favorite, Queens Comfort, a magical place that boasts the most fabulous macaroni and cheese. The only problem was mi amor. He too wanted some delicious mac and cheese, but alas Queens Comfort serves theirs with bacon and my boy is of the tribe, so bacon is a deal breaker.

So I suggested instead that I would make a delicious baked mac and cheese at home that was nutritionally appropriate for both of us. Then, while at the market, a non-kosher lightbulb went off, and we decided to kick it up a notch and add some buffalo chicken. BAM. And we’re off!

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Melt butter with garlic & onions.

The first (and most complex) step was the sauce, which began with 3 tbsp butter. To this I added garlic onions and some jalapeño (cause I’m spicy). After this began to simmer, I whisked in 3 tbsp flour, effectively creating a roux.

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Whisk in the flour.

Once the mixture turns a lovely shade of brown, add in 3 cups of milk. Then start slowly adding whatever cheese you fancy. We used cheddar here:

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Add milk and cheese.

Then once it’s all melty and delicious, lower the heat, but stir occasionally whilst getting the rest of the dish together.

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Marinade chicken in buffalo sauce.

I had my chicken marinating in buffalo sauce for about a half an hour, then into a buttery pan until it looks good enough to eat. I then moved the chicken to a cutting board to cool before I sliced it into bite-sized pieces. Then everything into the pan!

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Add broccoli and pasta to pan.

Return the chicken the skillet, followed by whatever kind of pasta you enjoy. We used whole-wheat elbows to convince ourselves this dish was healthy. See also: use of broccoli in this dish.

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Close up of the magic.

Because I’m naive enough to think you can just send a man to the grocery store and expect him to know what you mean when you say “foil baking pan,” I got to coin the soon-to-be-world-famous “mac and cheese pie” with these babies:

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Top with bleu cheese, breadcrumbs and butter.

I scooped it all into two of these pans, then covered them with a little more cheddar, a few bleu cheese crumbles and some breadcrumbs. Then pour on another 1/2 cup of butter and into the oven at 400!

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Cook at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

And in approximately 25-30 minutes, this is what you’ll have. Yeah. Mmm.

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And enjoy!!

Take THAT, Queens Comfort!

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Sweet Grass Grill

About a month ago, the stars aligned in such rare form as to grant me and my paramour a week day off together. Even more serendipitous was the access we had to a car, something that is almost never the case (and never necessary) for us in Queens. But on this fateful Friday, we were in New Jersey and we wanted to go on an adventure. There was just one hiccup, it was pouring down rain. This only strengthened my resolve to have a great start to a 3-day weekend, so we scrapped our initial plans to drive down to Seaside for an impromptu interpretation of The Jersey Shore, and opted for the creepy Sleepy Hollow, a nearby town that had haunted my childhood.

Turns out Sleepy Hollow, NY is much more sleepy than creepy, but it was pretty and I’m glad we went. The little town next door, called Tarrytown, seemed to boast a more happening downtown scene, so we stopped there, after a roll through Sleepy Hollow, for a bite to eat. After checking out a few menus on the main street, the Sweet Grass Grill really tickled my fancy:

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We chose two different IPAs. Jared’s was better 🙂

We had planned to stick to water originally, but the plethora of craft ale options on tap forced me to shrug and say, “YOLO, I’ll have a brewski.” Unfortunately I cannot recall the names of these IPAs, but I can assure you they were bold and tasty, just like an IPA should be 🙂

Next came the food:

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Jared chose a chicken pesto sandwich, the food of his people.

It takes a lot for my man to overlook a chicken pesto sandwich on a menu. Unless another option is lamb or mushroom-based, he’ll almost always opt for something in a chicken-pesto variety. He said this was one of his favorites, and the fries were perfection.

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And I chose the bacon mac and cheese, the food of my people.

Equally as challenging is for me to overlook a mac and cheese dish, especially one that includes bacon. This particular béchamel sauce was light, yet flavorful and the cherry tom-toms were a cool, fresh burst of yum.

If you find yourself driving around the sweet little villages of Westchester County, check out this little gem, you won’t be disappointed!

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Trivia NYC at Raven’s Head

In order to spice up this week’s Tuesday, which can often carry an air of blah, we decided to partake in one of our very favorite weeknight activities: Pub Trivia! This is something we’ve never done in Queens before, so we had to do a little research. Finally, we decided on Raven’s Head Public House on Steinway and Broadway in Astoria, where Trivia NYC hosts Trivia on Tuesday nights at 7pm. My person had been here once before and assured me the food was good and the beer was great. My arm was twisted!

For our draught choice, we both selected the Founders Centennial IPA, which is apparently an award-winning brew from the folks over at Founder’s Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. It was tasty, hoppy and came with a kick of 7% alcohol. If there’s one thing I know about my man, it’s that he loves himself a buffalo chicken wrap, so I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him order this:

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He’s a man who knows what he likes!

I opted for one of my favorite foods (as previous posts may have indicated) macaroni and cheese! This particular mac was tossed with bacon and breadcrumbs, topped with additional cheese, baked in a skillet, then brought to me in a bowl:

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Who won? I did.

We had a friend join us for Trivia, which we were terrible at, but enjoyed thoroughly. He out-ordered both of us with the delicious looking steak salad:

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Yeah, I probably should have ordered this.

I would highly recommend this particular Pub Trivia to anyone in the area who enjoys such things. But I must warn you, this was not some rinky-dink gum ball machine trivia, host Jarrod Hornbeck is not messing around. Not only that, but he has a loyal group of regulars who I’m guessing dominate every week — they certainly did this week. It was a good time, I’d definitely go again!

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Comfort Food in Queens, Ya’ll

Watching people attempt to use this as a door is endless entertainment. Yes, perhaps I was one of those people.

Right down the block on 30th Avenue sits a special little slice of the south called Queens Comfort. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a heavy-on-the-cream-and-butter little piece of heaven right in my own backyard. We’ve been here before, more than once, but only for brunch never for dinner. So you can imagine my delight when the boys (both of them magical) wanted to do that last Friday night instead of our usual bar. It’s BYOB, so we brought our own B and ordered a variety of snacks and shared them. The beer we purchased was a pale ale in a can, something with a pig on it… anyone familiar with this particular can of beer?

Grilled Corn on the Cob.

This was grilled corn, covered in parmesan cheese and then drizzled with sriracha. We did not share this. This was for me only.

Meatloaf Mac and Cheese

This is meatloaf Mac and Cheese, which is exactly what is sounds like. And it tastes like heaven. They also had a gouda mac and cheese, if you are a non-carnivorous being, I would recommend it.

Disco Tots.

These are disco tots, which were requested by the boys (both of them Jersey) which is where I think this type of tot must have originated because I’ve never heard of them. Please let me know if you are familiar with the actual origin of disco tots, I am curious.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings.

I’ve saved the best for last. Because while the corn, the mac and cheese and the tots were simply incredible, these sweet and spicy wings were a revelation. I am a huge wing fan, I used to work in a wing bar and these are a huge head and broad shoulders above the rest. They were spicy and crunchy and yet somehow still tasted like dessert. They resembled, in fact, the only other dish I’ve ever had at Queens Comfort: the fried chicken and waffles (which is served with tabasco and maple butter… I’ll wait while you wipe the saliva from your lips.)

If you’re from the south, having a bad day or just don’t give two shakes about calories this is the only place you need. The service takes time, so don’t come here in a hurry and don’t try to order off the menu. It changes daily for a reason. Enjoy 🙂

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Mac & Cheese: A Love Story

Once upon a time, during a stroll in the East Village, we happened upon a lovely little pub advertising $3 draft beers. I happen to be a big fan of $3 draft beers, so we decided to sit for a spell. The locally brewed ale was refreshing, but I had the pangs of hunger sneaking up on me. To my delight, I saw the menu boasted mac and cheese, then to my absolute enchantment, I saw the menu offered something else: chili mac and cheese. Something I’ve never had before, I enjoyed this dish so much that I had to attempt my own version.

I started by making the chili, then while it was simmering, I began with the mac and cheese.

<– Here is everything I used to make the cheese sauce.

I did not make the pasta from scratch (maybe some day soon) I used big shells from a box.

First I put the pasta into a pot of salty boiling water (this recipe calls for a 1/2 pound). The shells take 14 minutes, so that gave me plenty of time to make the sauce. First I mixed 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of flour. I whisked this all together, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Then I added half a onion, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, 3 cups of milk, a dash of paprika and cayenne and salt and pepper. Then I let this simmer for about 10 minutes. Don’t forget the pasta!

After ten minutes, I added in 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese. It melts fast and then in with the pasta! Once the pasta is all cheesy, pour it into the casserole dish (ours is foil cause we’re classy) and put 4 more ounces of cheese on top (just get a 12 ounce bag and do 2/3 and 1/3). I added a little spicy monterey jack too, but that’s up to you.

Then into a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until its nice and bubbly. A little scoop of this… a little scoop of that…and they lived happily ever after.

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