Monday, April 16, 2012

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

I found this recipe on Pinterest linked to this blog.

Ingredients:-1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
-2 Tablespoons butter
-2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
-1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup milk
-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
-1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
-Salt and white pepper to taste
-1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
-Basil leaves for garnish, optional

After reading my blog posts up to this point, you know that I am a poor college student and I often substitute ingredients. I still have Gruyere from when I made the recipe of Soft Boiled Eggs, but for the Pamigianio-Reggiano and the fontina  I used an Italian blend which included those three cheese plus three more.

Preheat the oven to 375.

And cook the gnocchi according to the package -- the one I bought said to cook for about four minutes, which is when the gnocchi will begin to float.

Drain the gnocchi and put it single layer into a greased pan.


Melt butter in a sauce pan, then add garlic and stir until aromatic.

Whisk in flour until a bubbly sauce forms.

Then whisk in milk and dijon.

Whisk until thicken, then add Gruyere and fontina cheeses.

Once the cheese is melted add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cheese sauce over the gnocchi.

Add additional Parmesan and Romano cheese to the top. 

Bake about 25 minutes, then let stand for a few minutes as sauce will be extremely hot and bubbling.

Like with the Pirogoi Casserole from last night, this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese wasn't bad, but it was mediocre. I like my food to have more flavor profiles and the main taste here seemed to be the Dijon mustard.

My boyfriend suggested that it would potentially be better with toasted bread crumbs on top to add some crunch.

Probably not a recipe I would try again.

Pirogi Casserole

My roommate ended up with an abundance of potatoes so we decided to try out a potato based recipe last night.

Ingredients:-5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-1/2 pound bacon, diced
-1 onion, chopped
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
-3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

This recipe came from --

Preheat oven to 350.

The diced potatoes need to be boiled until soft. These will be combined with the milk and butter, then mashed.

Meanwhile, cook the onions and garlic in a skillet until translucent.

And cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions.

Although the original recipe did not call for these steps to be performed consecutively , it helped save time.

Once all of the above steps are complete assemble your casserole.

A layer of mashed potatoes and cheese on the bottom. Add a layer of noddles on top.

Repeat the layers above one more time, then add the onion/garlic mixture.

Add one more layer of noodles and top with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes.

Top with sour cream, season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Personally, I don't think this recipe was as good as the last few I made, but it wasn't bad. We halved the recipe as usual (and left out the bacon, ew).

Also, everything in the dish was one looked bland. This was partially because we could not find chives at any of the grocery stores near us, that would have at least added a little green. It tasted like a pirogi...but it was a lot of starch for one meal.

To each their own, however; my boyfriend liked the casserole so much he took all of the leftovers home.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tortellini Soup

This recipe comes from the Taste of Home website:

-1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
-2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each)  condensed tomato soup, undiluted
-2 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups 2% milk
-2 cups half-and-half cream
-1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-Additional shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

This recipe makes 10 servings -- since I'm only cooking for two I cut the recipe in half and it made plenty.

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions.   

Combine the soup, vegetable broth, milk, cream, tomatoes and seasoning.

Make sure to use a large pot.

Stir the ingredients together and heat.

Once the tortellini is finished, drain the pasta water out.

Add the tortellini to the soup pot.

Add more cheese and serve.

This soup was awesome! It was hard to believe that the soup's base came out of a can, it was creamy and the flavor blended perfectly with the tortellini. I helped myself to seconds :)

None of the ingredients in this recipe were expensive which makes it perfect on a college budget. Also, it didn't take too long.

Although I halved the recipe, I did use a whole package of tortellini so there was a piece of tortellini in every bite.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vegetarian Chili

This is another recipe from Weight Watchers.

Ingredients:-1 tsp canola oil
-1 clove garlic, minced
-14.5 oz stewed tomatoes
-15 oz kidney beans
-15 oz yellow corn
-15 oz tomato sauce
-1 tbsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-4 tbsp cheddar cheese

For my chili I made a few variations --
I substituted the canola oil for vegetable oil,
I substituted the oregano for Italian seasoning
I substituted the onion flakes for 1/2 tsp of onion powder

Heat oil and garlic in a large pot over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic.

Add all of the vegetables and seasoning.

Bring the chili to a boil and cook for five minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Server garnished with the cheddar cheese.
This recipe was cheap to make and took less than fifteen minutes to cook. My roommate and I both enjoyed the chili, when we make the chili again I plan to leave out the stewed tomatoes and add more tomato sauce -- there was nothing wrong with the chili with the tomatoes, personally I don't like large pieces of tomatoes and prefer more liquid in my chili.