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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese Part II

Well it's the summer time and there is always something good to cook for an old fashioned BBQ. A while back I had placed a recipe on gourmet macaroni and cheese. This go around, I wanted to show how you can make macaroni and cheese a different way. Remember, I am making a double batch as I am making this for our home as well as the BBQ we attended.


4 cups of elbow macaroni
water for boiling
1 pkg pancetta
1 pkg proscuitto
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 oz fontina
4 oz jarlesburg
4 oz white sharp cheddar
4 oz smoked gouda
4 oz colby jack
1/2 green onions
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp nutmeg

Start by cooking the pancetta and proscuitto. Use a teaspoon of olive oil as the ingredients have enough fat to help in the cooking process. Cook until nice and somewhat crispy. Drain from the fat and place off to the side.

Shred all the cheeses that you plan to use. I am using these types of cheeses as I like to have a little sharpness, but also some velvety creaminess to my mac and cheese. Remember, you can use different types of cheeses and it all depends on what is available. I have been known to even use Velveeta, but adding other high end cheeses. Just keep in mind that you don't add too much salt because Velveeta has too much sodium.

In a separate pan, add one diced onion to the pan drippings of the proscuitto/pancetta. Cook until somewhat translucent and caramelized. Take off the heat once cooked and placed off to the side.


Prepare a large pot with water for boiling. Salt the water liberally. Some bloggers or recipes say that you should not salt before, but after. I personally like to salt before and allow to boil. It helps in the boiling process.

In a medium sized sauce pan, place the butter and heavy cream on medium heat. Add the shredded cheeses to the heavy cream. Mix in the nutmeg and ground pepper. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and the cheeses are melted. Place on very low heat stirring on occasion.


When the water has come to a boil, add the macaroni remembering to stir on occasion. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until the macaroni is al dente. Drain the pasta.

In a baking dish, lightly butter the interior. Place the pasta into a baking dish. Mix in the cheese mixture and the pancetta/proscuitto into the pasta as well as the caramelized onions. Now I am going to allow this to cool down and place into the refrigerator. Like most things, the spices will meld together and just taste loads better.


On the next day, take the mac and cheese out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees place the mac and cheese into the oven. Allow to heat through. Take it out and sprinkle some panko crumbs atop the mac and cheese.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pork Steaks in a Wine, Lemon and Rosemary Sauce

It's been a while since I have posted anything with the job change, moving to a new home and finishing up the school year. It has been a whirlwind change with many positive things happening for us. Being closer to the family, having new jobs, and potential positive changes continue to come our way. I am not happy that I haven't blogged enough, but believe you me I am continuing to try as much!


Well here is one recipe that I have made a couple of times and it is appropriate for the summer season. The use of white wine, rosemary and lemons brings a nice refreshing touch to kicking off the Summer!


1 tbsp Olive oil
6 pork Steaks
Fresh Ground Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 large onion (or two small yellow onions)
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 lemon (or two small lemons)
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch

Add the olive oil to a heated pan. Once the pan is heated enough (about a minute), add the steaks to the pan. Notice that I couldn't cook them all at once, so continue to cook all the pieces.

Brown the steaks. Make sure they are nice and golden brown. Don't worry if they are not fully cooked as they will continue to cook when they are well rested.

Take the steaks of the pan and allow them to rest.

While the steaks are resting, chop up the onion and add the onions to the drippings (this is on medium heat). Add the minced garlic to the cooking onions. Cook them until the onions are translucent.


Then, add the white wine to the onion mixture. Bring up to a high heat and allow it to come to a boil.

Mince the rosemary and add to the white wine. Add that salt and pepper to taste.

Squeeze the juice of the lemon. Make sure to avoid adding the seeds. Notice that I am squeezing out the juice avoiding the seeds getting into the mixture.

Add the butter to the sauce. If necessary, add more white wine to the sauce. At the same time, add the cornstarch to the sauce to help with thickening.


Once this is is sufficiently thick, add the pork back to the mixture. Allow to add some of the drippings to the sauce allowing to cook for a good additional 15 minutes on high heat as you want to cook out those drippings.


I am placing this off to the side and cool. Again, I don't like to eat something like this until the next day as I am cooking for the week. Besides, the spices meld well together in the sauce. Having this with some green beans and white rice.