Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013

First keeper this week - a jalapeno, bacon and chicken mac and cheese.  I know, I know, we already have a pepper, chicken mac and cheese.  But my kids are obsessed with mac and cheese (Hannah even gave me a mac and cheese cookbook for Christmas last year).  This week's keeper is similar, but has roasted jalapeno peppers, so we wanted to try it, and we loved it.  The original recipe didn't call for chicken, but we added it to make it a full meal.  Served with salad, everyone was happy!  Our pepper plants are still flowering and no ripe hot peppers yet, but I imagine this would be even better with home grown hot peppers.

The other keeper this week was a waffle recipe.  My kids love, love, love waffles, and I found this recipe that I can put together all the dry ingredients and leave it in the pantry. Then in the morning when they want waffles it only calls for a few additional ingredients and the amount of time it takes to heat the waffle iron.  The vanilla makes these really fabulous!

New Recipes
Waffle Mix and Recipe
Mac and cheese with Chicken, Roasted Jalapeno and Bacon

Breakfast Waffle Mix

* 1 1/2 cup AP flour
* 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp sugar
* 3/4 tsp vanilla
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
* 1/3 cup butter, melted, or 1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.
2. Beat the eggs on high for 2 minutes, until airy.  Add the milk and vanilla to the eggs and stir to combine.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
4. Slowly add the butter or oil until blended.
5. Use the batter in your waffle iron, and enjoy!

This is another great waffle recipe, and you can make batches of the dry ingredients to have on hand in your pantry.  I then add the rest of the ingredient list and the directions to a large post it and attach that to the container of waffle mix.  Even on a busy morning you are halfway to waffles, and your kids will be thrilled!

Mac & Cheese with Chicken, Roasted Jalapenos and Bacon

* 2 fresh jalapeno peppers
* 4 oz bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped (reserve a small amount of the bacon drippings)
* 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 2 tbsp AP flour
* 2 cups whole milk, warmed
*  12 oz cheddar, grated
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
* 8 oz dry pasta

1. Roast the jalapenos over a stovetop gas burner or under the broiler, turning with tongs, until the the skins are blistered all over. 
2. When the peppers are cool enough to handle remove the stems, skins, and seeds of the peppers.  Chop the flesh into a fine dice and set aside.
3. Combine the small amount of bacon drippings with the panko.
4. Cook the pasta as directed on the box.
5. In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Cook and stir for about 2  minutes.
6. Gradually whisk in the milk.  Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is simmering and thickened.  Let the sauce bubble and thicken for about 10 minutes, but stir it often so it doesn't scorch.
7. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheddar until melted.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
8. Pour the sauce over the cooked and drained pasta.  Mix in the reserved jalapeno peppers and the chicken.   Pour into a prepared 7 x 11 baking pan.  Top with breadcrumbs and back for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!!!

This didn't call for chicken originally, but we added it to make it a meal, and it was delicious!!!  This was great, though it had some kick from the jalapenos.  And be warned...if you have leftovers, the heat will intensify over time.