Monday, June 21, 2010

Italian Mac and Cheese

2 TBSP. butter
2 TBSP. flour
2 1/2 C milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 C Italian Blend shredded cheese
8 oz. (2 C dry) cooked macaroni noodles (or any other pasta noodles)
1 C Italian breadcrumbs
1 TBSP. olive oil

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour, cook and stir 1 minute. Add milk, salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, simmer 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in 1 1/2 C cheese until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni, transfer to 8 or 9 inch baking dish.
Toss breadcrumbs with remaining cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle over mac and cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Salsa Chicken Salad

Makes about 4 dinner salads.

4 chicken breasts
torn salad greens of your choice
1 C frozen corn, thawed (or canned corn)
1 C black beans
1 C mexican-style cheese
1 C crushed tortillas
1/2 C salsa
1/4 C ranch dressing, plus some for topping

Preheat grill. Marinate chicken in ranch dressing for about 10 minutes. Grill chicken about 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Slice chicken into strips.
Divide salad greens among 4 plates. Add chicken, and top with the corn, black beans, cheese, tortillas, salsa and some ranch dressing.

Mozzarella Burgers

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 - 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1/4 C. Barbeque sauce
4 hamburger buns

Preheat grill. Mix ground beef, 2-3 TBSP of the Barbeque sauce, cheese and bread crumbs. Use hands to knead together. Shape into 4 hamburger patties.
Grill, around 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through, spreading remaining barbeque sauce on during last few minutes of grilling.
Also very tasty: try adding sauteed mushrooms as a topping for the burger.