Friday, September 23, 2011

Splurge (no modifications needed)

The first meal, and his favorite, I ever cooked for my boyfriend was a 4 cheese jalapeno twice baked mac and cheese with pulled pork sliders. I drool just thinking about it. This was also before I had my clarity and would eat just about whatever I wanted. I would have gone for the best cheeses and the pre-cooked Trader Joe's pulled pork. I still love the smell and taste of these comfort foods - except now when I cook them I am going for a more natural feel:

Less-Guilt Mac and Cheese
Serves: 6
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:8 oz elbow macaroni, dry - try whole grain or gluten free!
1 jalapeno (half chopped and half sliced)

1 tbsp un-bleached flour
1 cup fat-free milk
2 oz fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

2 oz fat-free shredded (other) cheese
2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups fat-free cottage cheese small curd
3 tbsp panko flakes
3 tbsp fat-free grated parmesan or romano cheese
Olive Oil (for pan - you can use non-stick stray but I opt out)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil up a 9x11 casserole dish. In a big pot, prepare macaroni to taste, I try and under-cook it, because I know its going to cook more in the oven. Drain (no rise) and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 2 tablespoons of milk. In large saucepan, heat remaining milk. Whisk in a little hot milk into bowl with milk flour mixture, just enough to warm mixture up and then pour mix back into pan with hot milk and stir over medium heat until the mix boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
Add the chopped jalapeno, cheese(s), mustard, salt and black pepper; set aside.  In a food processor or blender, puree fat-free cottage cheese until very smooth, then add to the cheese sauce. Finally, add the macaroni and mix well - pour mixture into casserole dish. In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs and Parmesan/romano cheese - Sprinkle over top of macaroni and cheese, then place the sliced jalapenos on top (presentation, duh!).  Bake 40-45min, or until brown (I like mine almost burnt!)

Make this on Friday and you can serve the left overs on Sunday when the boys come over for football and you go out for a hike with your girlfriends! 

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