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Saturday Dinner


dinner, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi.

This dinner was good. I mean really good.

I'll start with the roasted cauliflower cuz it was the easiest.

I defrosted a bag of frozen cauliflower florets. Yes- I said frozen. I was skeptical about the outcome, but it was fine. Actually, it was better than fine. After it was completely defrosted, I dried it on paper towels. I spread it out on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzled it with olive oil, then salted and peppered it. It roasted in a 400 degree oven for probably about 30 minutes. I roasted it while I was grilling the chicken. I wanted it to get a really deep, roasted color.

It tasted really good, and I think using frozen cauliflower was easier than cutting up a fresh head. But if you want to use fresh, I'm sure it will be even better!

Now...on to the mac and cheese...

I found a recipe in the Apr/May 2008 issue of "Cook's Country" magazine for skillet mac and cheese. It did not require boiling the macaroni separately- meaning one pot start to finish. I like that- and Dev likes it even more, since he usually does the dishes.

Here's the recipe:

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
salt and pepper
3 3/4 cups water, plus more as needed
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3 cups elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups shredded monterey jack

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.
Bring water, 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt to simmer in skillet over medium high heat. Add macaroni and cook, stirring often, until macaroni is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
Whisk remaining evaporated milk, cornstarch and hot sauce in small bowl, then stir into skillet. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cheeses, one handful at a time, adding water or milk as needed to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve.

You could get away with much less than 2 cups of bread crumbs. I think a cup would be plenty.

The flavor was really great, especially since I used the sriracha hot sauce. I could really taste the chile/garlic mixture.

Last but not least, let's talk about the chicken. I defrosted 4 leg/thigh quarters. I put a very simple blackening rub on them and grilled them. Actually, I incinerated them. They were on fire several times. I guess I need to brush up on my grilling skills. Anyhoo...
When the internal temp reached 170 degrees, I glazed them with the following mixture:

2/3 cup hoison sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon veggie oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small piece fresh ginger, skinned and sliced thin
2 medium garlic cloves, rough chopped
6 scallions, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Take everything for a spin in the food processor til smooth.

After brushing the chicken with the glaze, I let the meat coast to 175 degrees before pulling it off the grill.

I put additional glaze on my chicken after it went on my plate. The sauce is excellent! It would also be good over slaw or noodles.

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