Bacon Truffle Mac N’ Cheese

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I had ya at Bacon didn’t I? Don’t worry it happens to me ALL the time! But I know you were also interested in the Mac N’ Cheese part too. I mean come on, everyone loves some good ol’ mac…ooey gooey cheesy goodness tossed with some bacon…Mmmmm.

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Mmm Bacon!

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“A Heap of Love”

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Fresh Herbs

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Heart O’ Bacon

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Preparation

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Boom!

Here’s what you gotta BUY:

  • 1 lb shells
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk 
  • 12 oz Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 oz smoked Gouda, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/2 lb cooked BACON, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced 
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Truffle oil to drizzle

Here’s what you gotta DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions but cut the cook time down by 3 minutes; it will finish cooking in the oven; drain pasta well and return it to the hot pot.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture (called a roux) until no lumps remain.
  3. In a sauté pan, sauté the diced peppers and spinach.
  4. Heat the milk, stirring frequently, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and starts to bubble in the center of the saucepan (this should take about 5-7 minutes). Once it bubbles, let it cook, stirring the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, add in a handful of cheese, stirring it into the milk with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted; repeat with the remaining cheese. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme and basil.
  5. Add the Bacon, diced peppers and spinach into the cheese sauce then pour the entire mixture over the hot pasta in the pot. Mix everything together well, making sure the pasta is well-coated with the sauce. Transfer to the baking dish(es) of your choice and place it/them to a baking sheet to avoid spillage on the bottom of the oven. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top of the mac n’ cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes (depending on the size of baking dish), or until the Panko crumbs are golden brown and the mac n’ cheese is bubbly.
  6. Drizzle with truffle oil and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. MAC DOWN ON YOUR MAC!
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Caprese

IMG_9064After visiting Italy a few years back, I fell completely head over heels in love with Caprese. Something about the tart vinegar and the Italian olive oil all drizzled over the Buffalo Mozzarella, Roma Tomatoes and Basil… Voilà! Mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I would sit almost everyday with some vino and caprese and just take in my surroundings. It was amazing. Anyways, enough rambling, you get the picture, Italy was awesome and so was the Caprese!
IMG_9061Although, traditional caprese is served in slices, I made a variation for a catering event. And let me tell you it was a huge hit! Perfectly assembled and bite size…delizioso!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Mini Heirloom or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Package of Buffalo Mozzarella
  • A few fresh Basil Leaves
  • Toothpicks
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and dice mozzarella.
  2. Assemble tomato, a piece of basil and mozzarella on a tray, then poke with a toothpick to hold it in place.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar… then enjoy the delicious bite size Italian classic: CAPRESE! 

 

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Ribs in Ma Belly

20130125-194646.jpg20130125-194720.jpgFirst off lets just start off saying go Niners! I started my Sunday off with the Niner’s game at an Irish pub with my brother and roommate Lauren. It was a great game, and well now we’re going to the Super Bowl! WOOP WOOP! If that wasn’t great enough, I ended my day in great company, with Kahlua Ribs and Coronas. Lets just say it was a good Sunday!
GET THE RECIPE HERE

Racks on Racks on Racks

Racks on Racks on Racks

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San Diego Restaurant Week

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Spent the evening at Pamplemoose with my lovely girlfriends

I’m sure most of you have heard about San Diego Restaurant Week, but the question is…do you partake? Please do yourself a favor and check out AT LEAST one place for this amazing week! I can personally guarantee you will not regret it…actually, it will be the complete opposite. You’ll be overcome with love for me, so just thank me in advance my friends.

You’re Welcome 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR SOME RESTAURANT LOVE

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The Last Supper

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Last Suppers series by James Reynolds

What would you eat if you knew it was going to be your last meal?

I came across this article from “The Museum of ridiculously Interesting Things,” and was immediately intrigued! Artist James Reynolds, photographed a series titled “Last Suppers,”  basically being the last meals of death row convicts. I’ve never thought so hard trying to figure out what I would want my last meal to be. But I came up with a California Burrito, some applewood smoked bacon and a smoothie. So, I’ll ask you again…what would you eat if you knew it was going to be your last meal?

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Filed under Appetizers, Bacon, Beef, Breakfast, Chicken, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Food, Grill, Lunch, Pork, Steak, Uncategorized

Pork Medallions with Mustard Sage Sauce, Rosemary Crushed Red Potatoes and Roasted Veggies

I had my first catering job last month and lets be honest…it went really really well! Being my first time and all, it obviously got a little hectic plating and serving 20 people appetizers, soup, salad and a main course. But the food turned out absolutely delicious! The pork, potatoes and veggies went so well together, and don’t even get me started about how perfectly the creamy mustard sage sauce complimented EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. on that plate.IMG_9096

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1/4 pound each
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • Fresh sage for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the tenderloins crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Please the slices in a single layer on a sheet of plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of the dried sage and stir with a fork or whisk. Sprinkle both sides evenly with the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour or in the fridge for 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine the cream, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage. Place over medium high heat, bring to a boil, and stir until the cream is reduced 1/2 cup (about 4 or 5 minutes). Set aside. The sauce can be made up to an hour in advance.
  3. In a large frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches (if necessary), add the pork slices and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for 2/3 minutes longer. Turn and continue to cook until the slices are golden on the second side and nearly opaque throughout, about 4 minutes more.
  4. Transfer to a warmed platter and tent with alu minum foil. Raise the heat to high and stir in the chicken stock, scrapping up browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the cream mixture and continue to stir until the sauce is reduced to about 1/3 cup, 2-3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pork, garnish with the sage sprigs and serve.

FOR THE POTATOES:

  1. Slice 10 red potatoes, place into a pot of water, and boil for 25 minutes. Drain and place back in pot, combine with a half stick of butter, 2 garlic cloves; minced, 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, and a dash of salt and pepper. Crush with the back of a wooden spoon, enjoy!

FOR THE VEGGIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle veggies of your choice with olive oil and roast on the top shelf for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

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Lie: “A Watched Pot Never Boils”

Okay let’s be real here. A watched pot will indeed still boil even when being watched like a hawk, however, it just seems that way while waiting impatiently. Usually I leave the pot, and come back to a boiling over mess. I saw this amazing cooking tip and knew I had to try it immediately! The result: a complete success!! So next time your boiling something place a wooden spoon over the top and WHAM! No mess!

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