Sunday, March 27, 2011

Squash Mac 'n Cheese

My grandfather was a chef (his pictures joins mine in the header of this blog) and made the best homemade mac 'n cheese I've ever had. But, like many chefs, he didn't write down many recipes and I have been trying for years to match the recipe I had on sleepovers to my grandparents' house (his mac was SO good I'd pick at it and eat it cold all night). While the following recipe doesn't even come close to matching his, I truly believe that my appreciation of a good bowl of mac 'n cheese started with my grandpa, whose laughter and cooking I continue to miss.

(On a side note, my house smells like his would while his mac was baking - more than any other version I've made.)

Recipe Adapted From: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

1 pound wheat elbow macaroni
2 10 oz packages frozen, pureed winter squash
Bubbly and delicious!
2 cups skim milk
4 oz shredded, reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 oz shredded, reduced fat marble jack cheese
4 oz fat free cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp powdered mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish.
  2. In a pan, bring water to a boil, add salt, and cook the macaroni according to directions.
  3. In another saucepan, over medium heat, combine squash and milk. Stir and break up the squash, eventually bringing it to a simmer.
  4. Remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, mustard, and pepper.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain, and add to the sauce.
  6. Transfer everything to the baking dish.
  7. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Top the pasta with this mixture.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes, until the top is browned.
Rating: one of my favorites!
Warming Up: warms up as well as any other pasta dish

  • I don't tend to buy the frozen squash for this recipe, and instead use leftover acorn squash I bake for a different meal.
  • I have never found wheat bread crumbs, so I make my own with wheat bread in my food processor. This time I also put chunks of Parmesan in the food processor with the wheat bread instead of using shredded or ground Parmesan.
  • For pasta I use rigatoni because I think it does a great job of sucking up the cheese.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Upside-Down Pizza Remix

This weekend I decided to revisit the Upside-Down Deep Dish Pizza recipe. I really liked the original way of making it, but thought I'd switch it up a little this time.

The changes I made:
  • added green onions to the meat and cooked them a little before adding the sauce
  • mixed low-fat ricotta cheese with the broccoli instead of using mozzarella on top
  • used refrigerated crescent sheet instead of pizza crust
  • added sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese to the top before baking
This version did need to bake longer - I'm not sure if it was the crescent rolls topping or the tomatoes on top, but I think I ended up baking at 375 for 35-40 minutes, just check on it while it's baking.

This time the dish was equally as delicious and I used the extra crescent sheet to experiment with appetizer options. Maybe I'll have to do a post about that sometime soon. :)