Archive | 6:48 pm

Meatloaf Macaroni and Cheese

14 Oct

One of the great things about making a meatloaf is the leftovers.  In particular, the meatloaf sandwich, which is seriously delicious.  However, once I had a few of those, I started wondering what else I could do with the meatloaf I had left.  This easy pasta bake was born of my desire for some mac and cheese and my need to use as many leftovers as possible.  The meatloaf combined perfectly with the cheddar and creamy cottage cheese and really rounded out this yummy baked pasta dish.  I devoured this for lunch, happy I still had one more serving of meatloaf to make a repeat performance in the next day or two.  Any time you can combine two wonderful comfort foods into one with such harmonious result, it’s worth doing again and again.

Meatloaf Macaroni and Cheese

1 cup whole wheat pasta shells, cooked according to package instructions

1/3 cup leftover apple butter glazed meatloaf, roughly chopped

1 tbs. butter

2 tbs. whole wheat flour

1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese, drained over the sink in a mesh colander

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 325º.

In a large non-stick sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat.  A little bit at a time, whisk in the flour until a paste forms.  Slowly whisk until a smooth paste forms.  Whisk in cottage cheese and then cheddar cheese until mostly smooth.  Not all of the curds from the cottage cheese will dissolve – that’s okay.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Add meatloaf and noodles and toss to combine.  Transfer to an oven-proof bowl.

Bake 20 minutes until golden brown.

Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Collard Greens

14 Oct

Ever since I made a coffee and orange brined chicken in milk back in May, I knew I wanted to experiment with the flavors of chicken and milk again.  Milk imparts a really lovely, sweet flavor to the flesh of the chicken.  Combined with the indescribable yumminess of star anise and a punch of pepper, this marinade and braising liquid works beautifully with the tender chicken thighs.  I love chicken thighs because they defrost quickly (about an hour in cold water), have a lot more flavor than boneless cuts of meat, and cook comparatively quickly.  This is a slower recipe due to the braising method, but is bursting with flavor and falling-off-the-bone tender.

These spicy collard greens are also super flavorful and easy.  Though they are very similar to the spicy crock pot collard greens I have previously posted, I thought they were worth mentioning because they are just as tasty and a little bit healthier due to the lack of bacon.

Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Collard Greens

Milk and Spice Braised Chicken Thighs:

3 chicken thighs

2 cups milk

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbs. olive oil

2 pods star anise

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp. kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbs. butter

Combine all ingredients through kosher salt in a large zip lock bag.  Transfer to refrigerate and allow to marinate 6-8 hours, shaking bag occasionally.

Preheat oven to 325º.

Separate chicken thighs from the marinating liquid and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper.  Transfer marinating liquid and spices to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Allow to boil vigorously for 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in an oven proof pan or pot.  Add chicken, skin side down and, and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.  Flip and cook the other side another 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the boiled marinating liquid.  The liquid should not submerge the chicken, but rather leave the skin exposed.

Cover and transfer to oven.  Cook about an hour until tender and falling off the bone, about 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 165º.

Spicy Collard Greens:

1 bag collard greens

2 cups homemade chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbs. butter

1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and set to low.  Cook 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally, until tender.

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