Paprika Chicken Casserole

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup carrot, minced
1/3 cup celery, minced
1/3 cup onion, minced
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
3 stems parsley
1 bay leaf
1 pinch dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, halved and cut into half moons
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
12 ounces egg noodles, cooked as directed by package and drained
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions
1. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add minced carrot, celery, and onion and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Push vegetables to the side and add chicken to the middle of pot.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes, flipping breasts halfway through.  Sprinkle paprika over chicken, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. 

2. Add flour to pot and stir vegetables and to form paste. Increase heat to medium and cook 3 to 4 minutes. 

3. Add broth, wine, parsley stems, bay leaf, and thyme to pot.  Bring to boil over high heat then reduce to low.  Cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 

4. While chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat. 

5. Remove chicken from pot and slice or shred.  Remove parsley and bay leaves from pot and discard. 

6.  Increase heat under Dutch oven to high and bring cooking liquid to boil.  Reduce mixture by half then stir in cream and continue reducing until sauce has reached desired consistency.  Stir in chicken, egg noodles, and onion-mushroom mixture.  Garnish with parsley before serving. 

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Comments
This recipe is from Feeding Andy.  I’m not sure I remember it very well, but I don’t remember it being bad so I’m sure it was tasty enough.  Clearly I should make it again so I can add better notes! 


Macaroni and Cheese with Truffle Oil

Ingredients
16 ounces short pasta (I used elbows.)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
2 tablespoons truffle oil

Instructions
1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta as instructed by packaging.  Drain. 

2. In large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, and continue cooking until sauce begins to thicken and bubble, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Decrease heat to low and add cheddar cheese and goat cheese.  Continue stirring until cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth. 

4. Add pasta to pot and stir well to coat.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. 

5. Heat broiler.  Transfer Dutch oven to broiler and broil until top is crusty and golden brown, about 6 to 10 minutes.  Serve with truffle oil to taste. 

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Comments
This recipe is from Cristina Ferrare Cooks.  And we don’t like truffle oil.  I’ve tried, but I just can’t dig it.  I’m glad I went with my gut instinct and served the oil at the table instead of mixing it into the cheese sauce, since that would have been a disaster.  We did enjoy this recipe but, really, without the oil it’s just a typical, basic Mac and Cheese recipe.  I like to cook up leftovers in a layer in a skillet until they’re super crispy on one side.  So delicious. 


One Pot Spaghetti with Mushrooms

Ingredients
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 ounces) can tomato paste
32 ounces chicken or beef broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound short pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded, for serving

Instructions
1. Heat Dutch oven over medium heat and brown sausage.  Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, about 5 to 10 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are tender.  Stir in tomato paste. 

2.  Add broth, water, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to boil.  Add pasta and stir to submerge pasta in liquid.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 17 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. 

3. Season with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan cheese. 

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Comments
This recipe is from Alaska from Scratch.  Sadly, it’s too far in my memory for me to remember. 


Mac and Cheese with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese

Ingredients
16 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
2 yellow onions, halved and sliced
5 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering the pan
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fontina cheese, shredded
8 ounces goat cheese
1 1/2 pound elbow pasta
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
2 eggs
 
Instructions
1. Heat oven to 425*F.  Spread mushrooms on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper.  Roast until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350*F.  Butter 9 by 13-inch baking dish. 

2. Heat large skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until just starting to crisp.  Drain well. 

3. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructs.  Drain well. 

4. In now empty bacon skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 15 minutes.  Add flour and stir to coat onions.  Continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute.  Pour in milk, stirring constantly, then cook sauce for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly. 

5.  Add half and half, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper.  Stir to combine. 

6. Beat eggs in small bowl.  Spoon 1/4 cup of white sauce into bowl, stirring egg constantly.  Once combined, pour egg mixture into pot with white sauce, stirring constantly.  Add Parmesan, gruyere, and 4 ounces goat cheese.  Stir until cheese is completely melted. 

7. Add pasta, bacon, and mushrooms, and stir to combine.  Pour pasta mixture into baking dish then crumble remaining goat cheese over top.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbling and hot. 

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Comments
This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman.  It was very tasty, but I think I’d have liked twice as many mushrooms.  I, however, love mushrooms.  Lance thought it was fine as is.  This makes quite a lot of food and I enjoyed having the leftovers for a few days afterward!


Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

Ingredients
12 ounces center cut bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
3 large eggs, plus 1 large yolk
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
1 teaspoon salt

Instructions
1. Bring bacon and water to simmer in large skillet over medium heat; cook until water evaporates and bacon begins to sizzle, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until fat renders and bacon browns, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Strain bacon mixture through mesh strainer set in bowl. Set aside bacon mixture. Measure out 1 tablespoon fat and place in medium bowl. Whisk Parmesan, eggs and yolk, and pepper into fat until combined.

2. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Set colander in large bowl. Add spaghetti and salt to pot; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain spaghetti in colander set in bowl, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 cup cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder. Return spaghetti to now-empty bowl.

3. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup reserved cooking water into Parmesan mixture. Gradually pour Parmesan mixture over spaghetti, tossing to coat. Add bacon mixture and toss to combine. Let spaghetti rest, tossing frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly and coats spaghetti, 2 to 4 minutes, adjusting consistency with remaining reserved cooking water if needed. Serve immediately.

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Comments
This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated 2013.   Yet another recipe in my search for the perfect carbonara.  While this is a pretty foolproof recipe, it was certainly not my perfect carbonara.  Still super tasty, but not the creamy, rich, delicious dish I’m searching for. 



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