Food, Wine, Rock & Roll

Part food blog, part jam session

Crock-Pot Mac & Cheese

Posted by Becca On January - 18 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Mac & Cheese is an American classic that goes with everything.  Until I found this recipe, I had never made home-made mac & cheese.  I have avoided the preservative filled boxed mac & cheese for years & many of the recipes I had found for home-made either didn’t appeal to me or seemed to take too long.  This recipe, though, is perfect; it’s easy, takes very little prep-time, and is tasty beyond all reason.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded provolone (I like to use smoked provolone for added depth)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 8 oz. sour cream

Preparation

Combine the cheddar, provolone, milk, cream, salt, pepper, and mustard in a 4-6 qt. slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour.

Stir in macaroni and sour cream.

Cover and cook on low-heat for an additional hour.

Tomatillo Salsa

Posted by Becca On September - 5 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

I found the recipe for this amazing salsa in the recipe for Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia (full recipe posted separately) and quickly discovered I had found something really special.  Not only is it terrific with the tilapia, it is equally terrific to have as a snack with tortilla chips or as a side with any Mexican dish.  Even when I make this in order to serve with the tilapia, there is still plenty left over to use at a later time.  It keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and is sure to be an instant favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 serrano chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (11 oz.) can tomatillos, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Chop until smooth.

Grilled New Potatoes

Posted by Becca On August - 28 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

This is a super easy recipe that can go with almost anything.  It takes almost no time or effort and the fresh herbs add a wonderful flavor to the tender new potatoes and all the ingredients are incredibly inexpensive.  Using the grill for this side dish makes it perfect for any summer cooking when it is just too hot to turn on the oven.  You can also save any leftover potatoes, which reheat very well, for any other meals during the week.  If you cannot find the fresh herbs at your grocery store, you can substitute with dried herbs but the flavor is not as bright.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tiny new potatoes, halved or quartered depending on preferred size
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Boil the potatoes until you can just pierce them with a skewer, about 4-6 minutes.  Don’t let them get too soft.

Preheat the grill to medium high heat and brush with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Thread the potatoes on a skewer, brush with the oil and herb mixture, and place on grill.

Rotate the skewers often until the potatoes’ skins are light brown and crisp and the insides are soft, about 8-12 minutes.

Skillet Poblano Corn

Posted by Becca On August - 3 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

Skillet Poblano Corn is a very easy side dish to make and it is very low in fat and calories.  It goes great with any Mexican type meal, adding a nice change to the typical beans and rice.  It also reheats very well.

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp butter or margarine
  • 2 seeded, chopped poblano chili peppers
  • 3 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation

Melt the butter or margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped chilies and cook, stirring constantly, until tender (about 3 minutes).

Add the corn and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Tzatziki

Posted by Becca On July - 19 - 20102 COMMENTS

I found this recipe when I first made Souvlaki because they are meant to be served together.  However, I have since discovered that it goes well along side other Greek/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dishes, as well as on its own as a dip with pita bread or flat bread.  The shredded cucumber in the dish makes it incredibly refreshing, the crushed garlic gives it a hint of spicy bite, and the yogurt smooths all the flavors out.  This dish is a little more involved and takes a bit of planning ahead.  However, it can be kept refrigerated for up to a week and makes a nice afternoon snack when you are looking for something a little different.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain low or no fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon course salt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated on large holes of grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Preparation

Drain yogurt for 1 hour in a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove some of its water.

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over the grated cucumber and drain, 10-15 minutes, to extract excess water.

In a bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add drained cucumber to yogurt, along with pepper, and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Hummus

Posted by Becca On July - 15 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

Hummus is made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with other various ingredients.  Traditionally, it uses tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds).  However, when I decided to learn how to make hummus I couldn’t find tahini anywhere.  So, I started searching for a way to make hummus without tahini and found this incredibly quick recipe.  It became a staple in my household and, anytime there is a party, I bring my hummus.  It requires almost no time to make, there is very little clean-up after, it travels well, and can be eaten with pita bread as an appetizer or as a side dish with other meals (see Moroccan Chicken and Souvlaki).

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Preparation

Drain water from chickpeas, reserving 2-4 tablespoons.

In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  Add chickpea water to hummus slowly (tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is reached.

Serve with pita bread, flat bread, pita chips, or bagel chips.

Keep refrigerated.