RSS

Tag Archives: comfort food

Chili over Cheesy Polenta

Chili over Polenta

I haven’t written a blog post since before I was pregnant which has now been almost 2 years.  I used to feel guilty for not writing then I realized I was not writing because I was out exploring the world, enjoying my family, and getting on with other things.  It might be another 2 years until  write the next one and that is ok.  I started this blog as a hobby and can see how it quickly became another responsibility.  Anywho, I have put things into perspective and I’m here now so that’s all that matters.

The hubby and I made it our summer goal to add some curb appeal to the outside of our house by adding shutters and painting a door.  So in true fashion, we were working on this until Labor Day Monday evening.  Nothing like putting it off until the last minute!

Look how great it turned out though.  I love the door so much.  It makes me happy every time I drive up now.

House (Before)House (After)

Since I knew I would be outside all day, I wanted something easy for dinner that would also be hearty enough to fill us up after a long work day.  I had a small amount of left over shredded beef from the day before and also wanted to be able to extend that as much as possible so what better way than to make chili.  Topping this quick chili over cheesy polenta completely amps up this dish and takes it to a whole new level.  My husband raved and kept asking for more, more, more.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!

Erin

Chili over Cheesy Polenta

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound stew meat
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 can S&W chili beans
  • 1 envelope McCormick chili seasoning
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Chili:

  1. Liberally season stew meat with salt and pepper and bring to room temperature.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking.  Add stew meat and sear until nicely browned on all sides.  Transfer meat to slow cooker.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, pepper, onion, chili beans, and chili seasoning to slow cooker.  Stir everything together and set to low for 6-8 hours or until stew meat shreds easily with a fork.

Directions for Cheesy Polenta:

  1. Slowly bring milk to a boil over medium-high heat in a large pot.  Stir the milk frequently so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Once milk is boiling, add grits in a steady stream while stirring vigorously.  Reduce heat to low and cover for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove lid from pot and add cheese in batches until fully incorporated and melted.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add butter and stir until melted.
  6. Serve hot polenta in bowls and top with chili.
Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac 1

Mac-n-Cheese is one of those things in life that so many of us have in common.  I come from a family of 6 and am the baby, baby, baby.  My sisters and brother are 12, 10, and 8 years older than me, so my siblings were very much a part of my upbringing.  I remember very clearly when my oldest sister Terry watched me I always requested Kraft mac-n-cheese.  That’s right, I had the “blue box blues.”  I loved it when she made it for me because she would add all the butter and milk that the recipe called for.  When my mom made it, I think she secretly added water and margarine.  Bleck!

As I have gotten older, I no longer crave the blue box, but my love of mac-n-cheese certainly has not faded.  These days I love a rich, creamy bechamel based cheese sauce, baked, with a crunchy panko topping.  I happened to get a block of bleu cheese for 99 cents at the grocery store this week and needed to use it, so decided to morph my usual cheesy mac into a buffalo chicken recipe.

I hope this recipe brings back as many homey and comforting memories for you as it did for me.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

Yield: 8 Servings      Active Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts, poached or rotisserie
  • 3 cups medium shells
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. powdered mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Valentina)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 oz. extra-sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
    For Topping:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup bleu cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Poach enough chicken breasts to measure 2 cups shredded or use 2 cups rotisserie chicken.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the shells 5 minutes.  You want them undercooked.  They will absorb the creamy cheese sauce in the oven and come out perfect.  Drain and set aside.  Do not rinse.
  4. In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and stir constantly for five minutes.  Slowly stir in milk and cream.  Increase heat to medium and whisk to remove any clumps.
  5. Add onion, bay leaf, and hot sauce. Simmer for about ten minutes or until the sauce thickly covers the back of a wooden spoon.  Reduce heat to low and remove the bay leaf.
  6. Temper in the egg (instructions below).  This is an important step.  Don’t skip it!
  7. Stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper. Fold in the macaroni.
  8. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with bleu cheese.
  9. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese 3

How to Temper an Egg:
  1. Whisk egg in a bowl.
  2. Add a spoonful of sauce to egg while whisking.
  3. Continue adding a couple more spoonfuls while whisking.  Then add warmed egg mixture to sauce in skillet.
  • The purpose of tempering the egg is to slowly bring the egg to the temperature of the hot sauce.  If you add the egg directly to the sauce it will scramble and give you an awful curdled texture.
  • The egg, when tempered properly, will give a nice creamy texture to your finished dish.
 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2013 in comfort, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: