Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Macaroni and Cheese


I had this idea to use up some leftover ham.  I was so proud of myself  - a new recipe!   I googled after I made it – many a blogger had beat me to it – mine is a little different and “Three Servings Andrew” gave it two thumbs up and a fist bump.

Original recipes - I don't think they exist anymore --  maybe on Chopped because no one has made anything with some of those weird combinations of ingredients.  Twenty something years ago when Bryan was a little boy - I put an Oreo into a cookie, into brownies, I topped brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough or peanut butter cookie dough -all these folks ranting and screaming about their "content" - nothing is new - we've all made it before.  I do think we should link back to recipes we find on blogs (original or not) - and NEVER edit, copy or post a recipe into a Facebook post - but we all need to get over ourselves.  Changing an ingredient - does not a new recipe make. 

That being said  -- I do have respect for some of these beautiful blogs.  The pictures are gorgeous and everything  is just perfect.  Newsflash - nothing is perfect in this house.  We eat the food that I make.  I seldom have time for a half-assed picture let alone - staging a photo - a light box....that's a lamp in our house. I do not have time to post once a day - and I don't have time to read blogs that post more than once a week - I'm lucky if I get to some of my friends once a week.  I guess there is a market out there for people looking to kill time - my time is dead already.  Dead and buried.  I love my blogger friends and I do try to get to their posts - it's all about support - but this blog is entitled Mad Rantings -and occasionally that is what I do.

So here it is - my not so original Chicken Cordon Bleu Macaroni and Cheese...or Three Servings Pasta.


Ingredients:

1 pound box of farfalle pasta – cook and rinse – I only cooked my pasta in salted water for 7 minutes (the box said 11 – the pasta cooks in the sauce and in the oven – so trust me – 7 minutes and rinse thoroughly). Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid. 

½ pound of diced ham (or more to your liking)

homemade chicken cutlets or nuggets  – two cutlets – or about 12 good size HOMEMADE nuggets, diced about the same size as the ham  (if you want to pick up two cutlets from the deli – go ahead or two orders of chick-fil-a nuggets – I won’t tell anyone – but please please please don’t put “Mc” anything into this pasta.

4 tablespoons of butter

4 tablespoons of flour

Salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of Dijon, a sprinkling of fresh grated nutmeg

Two gloves of diced garlic

½ pound of grated Italian fontina

1 quart of whole milk

Topping:  ½ cup of panko, olive oil and parsley for the topping


Preheat oven to 350.

Cook farfalle or pasta of your choice as directed above (RESERVE one cup of cooking liquid).

Melt butter and sauté garlic until fragrant, add flour – cook a few minutes – add milk, dijon, nutmeg, salt, ground pepper – to your tastes.  I used about a tsp of salt, ground pepper and about a ¼ of a tsp of nutmeg).  Note: Diced onion would be wonderful in this as well -- since I don't want to watch my husband dissect a dish which would bring about my inner need to strangle...I don't put diced onion into anything -- I do put onion into the food processor and hide it that way but I didn't yesterday.

I let this cook about five to ten minutes – add the cheese.   Let the cheese melt into sauce.

Add the pasta, chicken and ham into sauce and then add ½ to ¾ cups of reserved pasta cooking liquid – it loosens up the sauce without making it too rich and globby.  Globby is a word.  My word. 

Top with a little shredded fontina and bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. 

Remove from oven – up oven temp to broil.

In a small bowl – add panko, olive oil and parsley and then sprinkle on top of pasta – and  place under broiler for a minute or two – KEEP AN EYE ON IT.  If the smoke alarm goes off -- it's over done.


Enjoy.
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