- 8 oz Macaroni
- 1 lb. Ground Beef Chuck
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ C Finely Chopped Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Tsp Mustard Powder
- ½ Tsp Paprika
- ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 2 C Whole Milk
- 8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
- Cook the macaroni according to the package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool, and drain again.
- Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven over high heat until smoking hot. Add the beef, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and spread in a single layer, breaking the meat into small bits. Cook until the bottom is nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Stir well, then push the beef to one side of the Dutch oven.
- Add the onion, garlic, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper to the other side. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir the onion mixture into the beef and push to one side of the Dutch oven again.
- Add the tomato paste to the other side, reduce the heat to medium, and stir for 1 minute. Stir into the beef until well mixed. Add the mustard powder, paprika, and cayenne and stir for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Push everything to one side of the pot. Add the butter to the other side. When it melts, dump the flour over the butter. Stir the flour and butter until the raw flour cooks out, about 2 minutes. Stir the roux into the meat mixture.
- While stirring, add the milk ¼ cup at a time. Keep stirring until the mixture bubbles steadily for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese until melted.
- Add the pasta and fold until evenly coated and hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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Brown Sugar Baked Chicken:
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken legs or thighs
Glorified Grits Souffle (Serves 12):
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 3 ½ cups water
- 2 cups grits
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 4 large eggs, separated
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
- Mix the brown sugar, coriander, cayenne, lime zest and juice, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss until evenly coated. Arrange skin side down in a single layer in a 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Flip the chicken to evenly coat with the pan juices and arrange skin side up in a single layer. Return to the oven and bake until the skin is browned, and the meat is cooked through, about 30 minutes more.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Skim the fat off the pan juices and discard or put the juices through a fat separator. Pour the skimmed juices all over the chicken and serve.
- Make ahead: The cooked chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Directions for Grits:
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Butter an 8-cup soufflé dish.
- Combine the milk, water, grits, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring often, for 25 minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grits are soft, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Vigorously stir in the cheese and egg yolks. Let cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally. The mixture needs to stay loose and not clump.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into the grits mixture to loosen it. Fold in half of the remaining whites until incorporated, then fold in the remaining whites until only a few white streaks are left. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
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Pies are all about the crust and the fillings, but mostly the flaky crust. By cooking the crust and fillings separately, your guests get to enjoy that perfect crust that you made without the sogginess. They also get to enjoy several kinds of pie fillings without having to choose. It’s a world of not or, but and.
FLAKY PIE CRUST:
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, thinly sliced & chilled
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar
- Black pepper/ginger: ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ cup sugar
- Poppy seeds
- Coarse sugar
PEACH PIE FILLING:
- 8 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled (or 4 cups of frozen sliced peaches thawed) and cut into ½” chunks
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon amaretto
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 Cup Freshly Grated Lemon Zest
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch Dissolved
FRESH STRAWBERRY FILLING
- 4 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup water
Prepare The Crust:
Leave flour and butter in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Mix water, salt, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup. Let chill for 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour and butter. Separate the butter pieces and toss in flour to coat each piece. Place the paddle attachment on the mixer. Start the mixer on medium-low speed, and after a few rotations, add water mixture and combine thoroughly, but do not overwork. The dough is ready when it all comes together.
Split dough into two separate discs. Cover in plastic and stick them in the fridge to rest for one to 24 hours. Or you can freeze your dough for up to three months. Alternatively, you could use a store-bought flat sheet of dough and start from this step.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Roll dough on a flat prepared surface, to about 1/4” thick.
Use a pastry wheel to cut 1” wide strips in the dough. They should be about 4” long. (have fun with the dough. Braid some, twist some…)
Move strips to a lined baking tray.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a preferred topping.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes; crust should become golden brown.
Let cool and serve with a variety of pie dipping fillings for fun and friendly pie bar.
Peach Pie Filling:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix peaches with sugars, spices, lemon juice, amaretto and cornstarch. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the fruit releases its juices and roasts slightly. Peaches should be tender and deep in color.
In a medium saucepan, whisk the lemon zest and juice, butter, sugar, and egg yolks over medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir continuously with a spatula until thick enough to coat the spatula, about 10 minutes. The mixture should be barely simmering the whole time.
Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 3 hours.
Whisk until smooth when ready to use.
Fresh Strawberry Filling:
Dice half of the strawberries into ½" dice. Set aside.
Mash the other half of strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher. Bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Gradually stir the cornstarch mixture into the strawberries. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly.
Stir the diced strawberries into the hot strawberry mixture. Pour into a serving bowl and chill.
Serve freshly whipped cream on the side
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