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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

I love to macaroni and cheese. It's one of the many comfort foods that I learned to make first with the simple Kraft box. I also love to make simple recipes that doesn't require too much cooking from my part. That's why Crock-pot dishes are sooo easy because it doesn't require any work at all!


Now this recipe is what I have done a couple of times for parties or just on my own. Keep in mind that that this maybe a large amount of macaroni, but I am making a large batch for a party.

Ingredients:

1 whole onion, diced
8 tbsp butter (1 stick of butter)
1 lb 8 oz bag of elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp mayonnaise (Duke's preferably)
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 cup diced Velveeta
1 cup shredded mild cheddar
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack
1/2 cup shredded Gouda
salt and pepper to taste
additional milk or half&half (if necessary)

First, start off with sauteing the onions. Using a medium sized skillet, place the 2 tbsp of butter allowing it to melt. Add the diced onions and cook until they are caramelized. Once cooked, take off the heat and allow to cool.

Start the crock-pot at the highest setting. This helps the crock-pot to warm up. Now you are ready to add the ingredients to the crock-pot. Notice that I am using my large crock-pot. Start first by adding the milk and the butter. I am just adding the stick of butter, but if you want you can pre-cut the butter.



After you have added the milk and butter, you can add the spices. Stir the mixture.


Add the macaroni to the mixture. One of the last things that you need to add is the mayonnaise. I found Duke's mayo is the best, but whichever mayo you like to use should be sufficient.



Stir the whole mixture up to make sure that the noodles aren't getting stuck. Shred all the cheese and add to the macaroni. Also, add the caramelized onions to the pot. 

 


Bring the heat down to a medium. Remember to stir it so everything is mixed well. Cover the mixture with the lid. Every hour, stir the mixture making sure that the macaroni pasta doesn't get stuck together.


After about 2 hours, you will notice that the pasta is starting to get close to al dente. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. For me, the cheeses are salty enough that you don't need to add salt, but again, everyone is different. You might also notice that there needs to be more liquid. Add milk or half & half to the mixture. 



Check every 15 to 30 minutes to see if the macaroni is done to your liking. This is great with whatever you plan to eat with main dish that is. Also, I have found that macaroni does keep well frozen. When you freeze it, make sure it is sealed well. Once you take it out of the freezer, you need to let it defrost slowly. You can then reheat in a pot, add additional liquid and let it get it to cheesy, bubbly goodness. 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Homemade Beef Stroganoff with Leftover Carne Guisada

I consider myself the king of using leftovers and creating something that is new and different. MC always wants to make Hamburger Helper especially their Beef Stroganoff. I don't know about you, but I sure as heck don't like to eat that kind of processed food. Granted I am wrong with cooking mushrooms with this since true beef stroganoff does not have onions and mushrooms. It also is cooked with mustard and bouillon.

This recipe is very easy since it uses leftovers. Remember that my carne guisada already was cooked with onions, garlic, paprika and other such spices. It is also good since you don't have to worry about adding additional spices and salt. Recipe follows...

Ingredients:
Leftover Carne Guisada
1 pkg mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp salted butter
1 can 12 oz beef consomme
3 tbsp sour cream
1 pkg noodles (preferably, egg noodles)
Baby Spinach (if desired)

First, start by washing the mushrooms. If you already had bought pre-sliced mushrooms, then you can avoid slicing otherwise slice the mushrooms. Add the butter and saute the mushrooms. Remember what Julia says, don't overcrowd or they will not be golden brown. When done, turn the heat off and close the lid.



Now remember, this is using leftover carne guisada. I have some carne guisada that I had made a couple of days ago. The good thing is that the . Add the mixture to the mushrooms turning the heat on and bringing the mixture to a boil.


Now I am adding some Beef Consomme to add some liquid to the mixture. Stir the mixture on occasion. After a couple of minutes, add some sour cream to the cooking meat.




While that is cooking, you can get the salted water to a boil. As far as noodles are concerned, I have been told by the other half that beef stroganoff is not stroganoff without egg noodles. Make sure the noodles are al dente and drain.

Now when you serve, just pour the mixture atop of the noodles. Of course, MC likes to drizzle it with cheese. TYPICAL...snickers...


 For a little bit of a mix, you can add spinach to the mixture allowing the spinach to soften. Adding the spinach is a great way of getting your vegetables with your meal. Enjoy it either way, but I have to say it is simply delish!!



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Like my previous post, Scrumptious Pumpkin Cheesecake, I like to make rather decadent desserts that are easy to make. This recipe that I am about to share is really easy to make, but be forewarned it might be gone in one sitting!! Case in point....the picture speaks for itself!!


Keep in mind that the best thing about this recipe are the pecans. Remember that you can avoid the pecans, but it adds an additional texture and depth of flavor that people just can't stop eating it.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (20 cookies or 2 pkgs of cookie)
4 tbsp melted butter
3 pkgs (8 oz ea) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup cajeta/dulce de leche

Heat the oven at 375 degrees. While that is heating up, crush the cookies into crumbs. Mix cookie crumbs with butter. Press evenly of the bottom and sides on a ungreased springform pan (9 x 3 inches). Bake for 10 minutes take out of the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350.


Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until nice and blended. Mix this on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time on low speed. Add the vanilla extract and beat in as well.



Pour over baked cookie crust. Swirl in some of the cajeta into the cheescake mixture. Using a butter knife, swirl in the cajeta making sure it is mixed well. Place into the oven and bake about 55 to 60 minutes or until center is firm. You might notice that it starts to break a little. This is another way to tell if the cheesecake is done.


Take out and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until chilled.

In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar on a medium or low heat. Add the pecans. Continue to stir and allow the sugar to melt until a golden brown. Move to a cookie sheet and allow to harden. Once hardened, coarsely shop the pecans.


Add the pecans to the cooled dulce de leche cheesecake. Once you have sprinkled the pecans, drizzle the leftover cajeta onto the cheesecake. You can also serve this with fresh whipped cream. This was enjoyed by many when we recently had friends over for dinner. It was great!!!