I am on a pumpkin trend. Last week I shared these Flourless Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips. This week we tried a savory dish for dinner: Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese. It was good — depending on how much you like pumpkin. I like pumpkin but if we made this recipe again we would tweak it. We would put in less pumpkin and more cheese. The sauce could have been a bit creamier, so I think we would have played with the sauce a bit more.
The breadcrumbs on top softened the heavier pumpkin flavor — the breadcrumbs are a must!
Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz. dried whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well and return to the pot.
While macaroni cooks, melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until combined. Whisk in milk, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add pumpkin and cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until creamy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to coat. Transfer macaroni to the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and oil. Spread evenly over pasta. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and macaroni is heated through.
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I could have it any time of day. So, yes, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Often instead of going on a date night, we do a date brunch. A meal we love, it is easy, quick and since it is on the weekend, I am more rested and focused on Chris. A win-win all around. Typically one weekend morning we go out to brunch and Chris makes something at home on the other weekend morning (or often afternoon by the time we get to brunch).
Which is why we constantly are on the lookout for yummy and different options to make for breakfast. This is by far one of the best recipes we have made in months. It has a little bit of everything. Eggs, sausage, hash browns, kale, cheese. What more can you ask for? I could not stop at one piece. The sausage is I believe what makes this recipe. I am not usually a big fan of sausage, and you will usually never see me eat a sausage patty, but crumbled up pieces in this dish is heavenly. It just will not be the same if you remove the sausage. If you do not like kale, do not leave it out, you do not even know it is there.
Serves: 6-8 (nutrition info is for 1 of 8 servings)
12 ounces ground sausage
½ cup milk
1½ teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound raw shredded potatoes (we just bought refrigerated uncooked hashbrowns)
1 cup shredded cheese (we used a combo of Swiss and Gruyère)
2 cups shredded kale
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan with oil.
Brown the sausage until completely cooked and crumbled. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs, milk, herbes de provence, and salt and pepper.
Add the hash browns, ⅔ cup cheese, kale, and sausage from step one. Mix it all together.
Transfer to the pie pan and top with remaining cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Remove foil, turn heat to 400 or 450, and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow excess moisture absorb. Slice and serve.
We tried it. Being vegan. We could not do it. While I could probably give up meat, it was impossible to give up cheese and eggs. I love both way too much, and the fake vegan version of cheese just does not compare. I am my father’s daughter. My dad was all about cheese (even if he probably at the time was not “cultured” in his cheese knowledge — no pun intended). With that all in mind, I love finding recipes, especially desserts that have the core of the ingredients inclusive of coconut milk and creme because it is so much better for you. This recipe is vegan and almost gluten-free, (if you can find a substitute for the flour). Maybe I will try to recreate into a gluten-free version. These cupcakes were good, and super moist (ugh I hate that word, but it is true). The frosting was not that sweet which is just the way I like it.
Cupcakes: 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (we used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces coconut cream, chilled overnight*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and coconut oil until incorporated. It you are making it in the summer you might need to slightly warm the coconut oil (depending on where you live). Since it is warm here, no need to do so as my coconut oil is not solid right now. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the coconut milk mixture in the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated (do not overmix).
Spoon into liners, filling each with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
For whipped coconut cream, spoon solid coconut out of can, discarding any remaining liquid in the bottom (or reserve for another use). Place in a chilled mixing bowl (keeping it cold is key here!) and beat on high-speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and holds soft peaks. It won’t firm up quite like whipped cream. Return to refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up slightly.
Frost cupcakes with a thin layer of coconut cream. It’s pretty lose, so it won’t hold huge swirls like buttercream. Dollop a bit of frosting on top of the cupcake, then dip top in a bowl of shredded coconut. The coconut will help hold the frosting in place.
Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.
Note: We did not read early enough that the coconut cream needs to be chilled overnight. So we made the cupcakes at night and finished the frosting the next morning. Breakfast anyone?
*You can also use full fat coconut milk but will need twice as much. Refrigerate at least 24 hours until thoroughly chilled. When you open the can, spoon off the solid layer of coconut at the top; this is what you will use to make the frosting. Any liquid at the bottom of the can can be discarded or reserved for another use. Note that if you use full-fat coconut milk instead of coconut cream, you may need 2 cans to get enough cream for the frosting.
Can you believe I have never had an enchilada? How is that even possible? I had no idea how they were even made. A taco with lots more cheese, or a soften quesadilla with more cheese. It reminds me of the quote I mentioned in this Chicken Taco Chili recipe:
“I laughed because I recently read Jim Gaffigan’s book “Food: A Love Story” and he mentions how mexican food is all the same ingredients served in different ways. Quesadillas are tacos, grilled in a pan, which are the same as enchiladas and nachos. You get the point.”
In any case, they were good. I felt so full, but I loved all the rich flavors. Maybe we will have to do a week where on Monday we have quesadillas, Tuesday: tacos, Wednesday: nachos, Thursday: enchiladas, what should we have on Friday. They are all the same ingredients. I can now say that I have had enchiladas, and this recipe was oh so good. We did not add the garlic (well I should say Chris did not add the garlic) and we cut the recipe in half. Next time we might make them and add beans and rice. Although if we do I might only be able to eat one enchilada.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, chicken, cilantro, jalapeños, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Simmer until slightly reduced, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Lay a tortilla flat on a clean work surface. Spread a generous tablespoon of goat cheese in a stripe down the center, then top with about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam side down, in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 to 25 minutes (if you like your cheese speckled with brown, remove the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking).
Serve warm, topped with fresh cilantro and a dollop (or splatter) of sour cream if desired.
Some recipes hit the spot others do not. I am grateful that most of the time Chris and I are on the same page when we like or dislike something. We both started out liking this recipe, and then we did not. We used lime chips to dip and scoop the fundido. After a few minutes the cheese got really stringy and no longer was fun or possible to pick up with a chip. Maybe I am biased because we have had some amazing fundido dips at a few different restaurants here in Portland where the cheese stays soft and easy to dip with over the course of the meal. For this particular recipe I had to cut chunks and add to the chip in order to eat. Additionally, the chorizo left so much oil behind that it felt like quite a mess.
Two things to note. We cut the recipe in half and still had way too much food and did not want to keep what was left over. The second thing — I am not giving up. I want to find a fundido recipe that keeps the cheese softer, more fun to eat, and not feel like I have a tire around my waist after finishing dinner. You might try this recipe (I mean look how easy it is) and decide if you like it. If you do, let me know.
Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Heat a large, deep-sided, nonstick skillet over medium-high for 1 minute. Add chorizo** and cook for 4 minutes, breaking any big chunks apart. Add Oaxaca cheese, and cook together for 3 minutes more. Remove cheese and chorizo mix to the baking dish. Turn broiler on high and cook for about 5 minutes, or until top of cheese is golden brown.
*Note: We did not use Don Froyland brand.
**Instead of chorizo, add 1/2 cup yellow onion and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add either 2 lbs fresh mushrooms (chanterelle or shiitake, sautéed), or 10 poblano peppers (broiled, then steamed in a paper bag, peeled, deseeded, and diced), and cook another 3 minutes before adding the Oaxaca cheese.