Saturday, October 29, 2011

Awesome Instant Mac

I am a snob about many things. Music, movies...fabric. But not food. Okay, maybe a little bit food, but not in a really patronizing "everyone has to do this or else they are worthless peasants" kind of way. I want my food to be plentiful, taste good, and be good for me. In that order.Frankly, I think everyone deserves those things, in that order. So a lot of my food is altering classic convenience foods to make them more interesting.

Start with your favorite brand of Mac and Cheese. I like Annies, but I also happen to live near a BJ's that carries it, so its affordable. Collect your additions. I prefer tuna (albacore or chunk light) green peas and either shallots or green onions.

Chop up the shallot, roughly is fine. I'm not a mincer. I just don't have the patience.
Prepare your noodles according to package directions, then drain.
Rinse the pot well, then put it back on the heat, medium high, and add your fat-of-choice, Olive oil, butter, margarine, whatever. I won't judge ;)
Add shallots and saute until translucent.
Throw in the peas now if they are frozen. If they are canned...blech. Mainly because canned peas are always greying, and always taste like the can. If thats what you have available, I'm sorry, because they taste awful. If you have fresh, wait on this step and add the peas near the end. Dried peas can be prepped ahead of time and added now, though they will get mushy. Its the nature of the beast.
Mix your cheese sauce outside of the pan first to get rid of the lumps.
Dump it in and bring to a low simmer.

Mix your pasta back into the sauce, then mix in your protein.

Then consume the awesome. I also like to make this with leftover chicken breast, kale and garlic, though that's better with the white cheddar mac.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Turkey Burgers with Mushrooms and Carmelized Onion

(Image description: Turkey burger on a slice of wheat bread topped with carmelized onions, mushrooms and shredded cheddar)

Something you should know about me is that I'm an almost no meat person in comparison to what seems to be expected of the average American. Due to gall bladder problems, I avoid beef and pork specifically and tend to avoid most red meats all together. So I do a LOT of substituting. Ground turkey saves my ass regularly.

These burgers were baked, but they can be grilled or pan fried according to your personal preferences.

I like to prep everything at the same time (which I don't always do because thinking stuff through is not my forte >.<)

You want to start by slicing your onions, as thin as you can manage. I like 1/4" inch, but its really up to you.

Cut your mushrooms in half across the button, then slice the opposite direction (or you can do what I did here, and cheat by buying already sliced mushrooms {they were on sale. Don't judge me!})

 Rough mince your garlic. That way you get little garlicy flavor bombs in your patties.

 Add spices and garlic. I use sage, thyme and oregano, and I use them heavily. Also salt to taste.

 Salt is best applied by your roommate's 4 year old.

 Some fresh ground pepper...
 When you form them into patties, make them about palm sized and a bit thinner in the middle.

 I bake them at 425 til the juice runs clear then pan fry for a browned outside. Stick them back in the warm oven while finishing the toppings.

 In the leftover turkey juices, saute your mushrooms til they are dark and soft, about 15 minutes.
To carmelize your onions, pan fry them in 2 tablespoons olive oil, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a teaspoon of brown sugar.

Layer with a good sharp cheddar and devour.