Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Southwestern Mash

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! I started with Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes and mixed in cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers. You can create your own five ingredient fix using Simply Potatoes and enter them in the five ingredient recipe contest for a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000.

Simply potatoes are fresh, refrigerated potatoes that have never been frozen. They’re easy to prepare and made with only real ingredients like whole milk, butter and salt.

These are the creamiest mashed potatoes on Earth! The cheese melts right into them along with the mashed avocado making them rich and even more buttery than they are to begin with.

The avocado turns them a pretty shade of green and the corn gives them little pops of texture. The jalapenos aren’t overpowering but more on the subtle side. Everything comes together to make a flavorful side dish to spice up you meals. A new favorite in my house.

I hope I inspired you to enter your own five ingredient fix in the recipe contest! Simply potatoes makes it so easy and convenient for you, there’s no excuse not to. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! Simply Potatoes traditional mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers.

Ingredients:

1 pound 8 ounce package of Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked corn
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup jarred or canned jalapenos, diced, with a little of the juice they're packed in

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes according to package directions.
  2. Scoop it into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and stir in the cheddar and corn. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir well.
  3. Mix in the mashed avocado and jalapenos including a tablespoon or two of the juice. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/southwestern-mashed-potatoes/

For rules on how to enter the Sweepstakes click here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan & Garlic

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta & Parmesan

If you want your family to eat their broccoli then try feeding them this! Broccoli florets smashed up with ricotta cheese and a whole lot of tasty things like Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and walnuts. They’re creamy like mashed potatoes and make a great low-carb alternative.

You can use fresh or frozen broccoli that you will need to cook real well – until it’s fork tender and on the brink of falling apart. This will make the creamiest mash. A food processor works best at pureeing everything together so it’s smooth.

This is one of those recipes I like to have up my sleeve for . . . I hate to say “tricking” people . . . changing their minds is a better way to put it. This can entice a broccoli hater to try it and chances are they will end up liking it. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

I love when that happens.

Mashed Broccoli

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan and Garlic

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings as a side

Mashed Broccoli with Ricotta, Parmesan and Garlic

Broccoli florets smashed up with ricotta cheese and a whole lot of tasty things like Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and walnuts. They're creamy like mashed potatoes and make a great low-carb alternative.

Ingredients:

2 pounds broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 shallots or a small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (just the yellow part, not the pith)
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Steam the broccoli until fork tender - cook it well.
  2. While the broccoli cooks in a medium sized frying pan (preferably non-stick) heat the oil and butter together over medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, stirring often. Turn the heat down to low and add the ricotta and Parmesan, cook just until warm.
  3. Place everything in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  4. Season - well - to taste - with salt and pepper - if you don't add enough it will be bland tasting.

Notes:

Inspired by The Chew

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/mashed-broccoli-ricotta-parmesan-garlic/

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked Greek Meatballs

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion. You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.

The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep. It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything. It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic and lemon. It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.

You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps. You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta. They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.

They will disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.

Like all tasty things it’s hard to eat just one.

Greek Meatballs with Spinach Couscous

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach, and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

Ingredients:

tzatziki:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a couple pinches each salt and pepper
meatballs:
olive oil, for greasing pan
2 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 cup crumbled feta

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
  4. Meanwhile make the couscous. The recipe is below this one.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 + 1/2 cups couscous (like this )
1 + 3/4 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

Instructions:

  1. Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
  2. Add them to a heat safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
  4. After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they’re lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Pan-frying is a must. See those pale, insipid looking things in the back? I baked them, because inevitably, I knew you’d ask. They came out flat, dense and unappetizing. It was hard to believe they were even made from the same mixture, so different they were from the fried ones.

Frying magically poufs them up and out giving them light and creamy interiors with beautiful browned outsides, exactly how I imagine something called a “puff” ought to be like. The insides remind me a little of tater tots, but the outsides don’t have quite the same crunch. They’re crunchy enough, just not tater tot crunchy.

Now for my favorite fry dip, my go-to that I’ve been making forever. Barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, equal parts mixed together. Nothing fancy. It’s creamy, tangy, rich and addictive. Good on fries, onion rings, crispy chicken of any kind, and burgers.

You can serve these as a side or appetizer. For appetizers make them a little ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven.

Potato Puffs with Parmesan

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 4 as a side

Parmesan Potato Puffs

Pan-fried potato puffs with my secret fry sauce for dipping. They have lightly crisp outsides that give way to soft middles that melt in your mouth. Along with Parmesan cheese, they're lightly seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder.

Ingredients:

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
coarse salt
vegetable oil, for frying
dipping sauce:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Instructions:

  1. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and maintain a simmer until they are fork tender.
  2. Drain them and put them back in the pan, set it over the heat, cook for a minute or two to dry up the excess water on them.
  3. Mash them with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the egg, butter, Parmesan, flour, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Season well with salt - about a heaping teaspoon.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and roll into 1 to 1 + 1/2-inch sized balls.
  5. Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add one of the potato puffs - the oil should bubble and sizzle immediately, if it doesn't let it heat up a little longer. Cook the puffs in batches, don't crowd them because they will pouf up a little as they cook.
  6. Cook about 2 minutes a side or until golden brown, then turn and repeat, then turn and repeat again if needed so you can get all sides of the puffs nice and golden brown. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  7. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  8. Serve hot or at room temperature with fry dip (just whisk equal parts barbecue sauce and mayonnaise together) or ketchup.

Notes:

Adapted from Food & Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/parmesan-potato-puffs/

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Baked Broccoli Cheese Fritters

The most irresistible oven-fried cakes you will ever meet! Golden brown on the outside with cheesy middles, they’re filled with broccoli, brown rice and sharp cheddar cheese. No frying required for great results.

The fritters come together easily using cooked brown rice, chopped broccoli florets, sharp cheddar cheese, eggs and a touch each of Parmesan and flour to help bind them together. Surprisingly, they crisp up nicely in the oven when baked on a lightly greased, nonstick baking sheet. Flipping them a little more than halfway through helps them get nicely browned on both sides.

I made these in two different sizes resulting in different outcomes. The smaller ones you see here are more like latkes, flat and thin with lots of crusty, chewy edges and just a tiny amount of creaminess to the centers. These are easy to eat with your hands, qualifying them as great appetizers.

Then I doubled their size making them considerably thicker. This gives them lots of soft middles with the same golden brown, crispy outsides. You can eat these with your hands too but not as easily. Since you have to bake them in two batches you can try them both ways, if you like, and decide for yourself which ones you prefer. It just so happened I liked both equally. I would.

One of my favorite things in the world is broccoli rice au gratin, so wrapping all that up inside a crusty little hand-held patty is certain to make my heart beat a little quicker.

It’s safe to say these will be a staple in my diet. Forever and always.

Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 15 large or 30 small

Baked Broccoli Cheese Rice Fritters

The most irresistible oven-fried cakes you will ever meet! Golden brown on the outside with cheesy middles, they're filled with broccoli, brown rice and sharp cheddar cheese. No frying required for great results.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked brown rice (2 + 3/4 cups cooked)
12 ounces broccoli florets (2 heaping cups cooked)
2 eggs
1 + 1/3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
a dash or two of black pepper
2 tablespoons flour, plus more if needed
olive oil, for greasing the pan
sour cream, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Steam the broccoli until tender, then place in a colander to drain off any excess water. Allow both to cool off. Pat the broccoli dry with paper towels.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large non-stick baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs with a fork until well beaten. Chop the cooked broccoli into little pieces and add to the bowl with the cheddar, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. Add the rice and mix well then add the flour and mix well. If the mixture is too wet to hold together add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. The mixture should still feel moist but stick together when you form the patties.
  5. You can make small, thin fritters or a bigger pancake type of patty. {Or some of each.} For the small patties scoop up 2 tablespoons of the mixture and form into a patty, place it on the baking sheet and flatten it out slightly. Repeat, placing them about a 1/2-inch apart. You will have to cook them in 2 batches. Cook 12 minutes or until golden on the bottom then flip and cook 8 more minutes.
  6. For the larger pancakes scoop up 1/4 cups of the mixture and pat into a round patty about 1/2-inch thick. You will need to cook them in two batches. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook 10 - 12 more minutes.
  7. Sprinkle coarse salt over them when they come out of the oven. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with sour cream.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/baked-broccoli-cheese-rice-fritters/

Spicy Sweet Potato Fritters with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Savory Sweet Potato Cakes

Pan-fried sweet potato cakes, golden brown on the outside and creamy in the middle with a sour cream and yogurt sauce for dunking. The sweet potato is the star here – there’s not much more to them aside from a little soy sauce, green onion and a spicy pop of ground red pepper for one of the easiest potato cakes I’ve ever made.

You have to start with cooked sweet potatoes, and that is the most time-consuming part of the entire process, waiting for them to cook when all you want to do is stuff piping-hot, crispy cakes into your pie-hole. If you have leftover baked sweet potatoes you can use them instead and if you’re not against using a microwave to cook your potatoes you can go that route too.

I’m a big fan of pan-frying, in case you didn’t know. You can get some nice crispness to them that way without full-on deep-frying. If you have a cast iron frying pan, use it. Cover the bottom with a generous amount of oil and let it get nice and hot. Not red-hot, mind you, but hot enough so that when the cakes hit the pan they sizzle right away. Then don’t move them for about 2 minutes or so, when the edges start to brown flip them with a thin, sharp-edged metal spatula. That is my secret for scraping the cakes off the bottom of the pan without having them break.

Sweet Potato Pancake Stack

The dipping sauce couldn’t be easier to make by whisking Greek yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and cilantro or parsley together. I love the cooling effect it has on the crusty little cakes. It’s tangy and herby and altogether delicious.

You can serve these as appetizers or turn them into a meal just by adding a leafy green salad. Or you can eat them just as they are. All day long.

Like it’s my your job or something.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Spicy Sweet Potato Fritters with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Spicy Sweet Potato Fritters with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Pan-fried sweet potato cakes, golden brown on the outside and creamy in the middle with a sour cream and yogurt sauce for dunking. The sweet potato is the star here – there's not much more to them aside from a little soy sauce, green onion and a spicy pop of ground red pepper for one of the easiest potato cakes I've ever made.

Ingredients:

2 + 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 teaspoons soy sauce
scant 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt + a few dashes fresh black pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
olive oil, for pan-frying
Sauce:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Put the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the tops of them. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Drain and add back to the hot pan set over medium heat. Shake the pan and let the excess water cook off of the potatoes.
  2. Meanwhile add all the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. Refrigerate.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, smash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) and mix it together with a fork or your hands. It should be a little sticky to the touch and should hold together easily. If the mixture seems too soft mix in another tablespoon or two of flour.
  4. Generously cover the bottom of a large frying pan (cast iron if you have one) set over medium heat with oil.
  5. Lightly wet your hands and scoop up rounded tablespoons of the mixture, pat into cakes and cook about 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden, working in batches. Use a thin, sharp-edged metal spatula to get right under the cakes when you turn them - this will prevent them from breaking. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter or cutting board to drain.
  6. These are good served hot, warm or at room temperature with the sauce on the side.

Notes:

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/spicy-sweet-potato-fritters-with-sour-cream-dipping-sauce/

Parmesan Crusted Chantilly Potatoes

Parmesan Crusted Chantilly Potatoes

Chantilly potatoes are the softest, creamiest, richest potatoes you will ever meet! With whipped cream in the mix and a salty, crispy Parmesan topping, decadence is their middle name.

Yes, you read that right, whipped heavy cream. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It’s mixed into buttery mashed potatoes, spread in a casserole dish and then sprinkled with lots of Parmesan cheese to form a golden crust so you have to break through it to get at the fluffy potatoes underneath.

You’ll love the way they melt in your mouth.

Chantilly Potatoes

I don’t have many tips to hand out for this recipe. It’s fairly easy and straightforward, if not a little more time-consuming than most. The important thing is to let the mashed potatoes cool off before mixing in the whipped cream or it will totally deflate and melt into a puddle. Once you have the cream whipped, pop it back in the refrigerator for storage if the potatoes aren’t cooled yet.

The second thing is I thought these could use a little more flavor so make sure you salt and pepper them up well. Next time I might fold in some chives and a couple of pieces of cooked, finely chopped bacon.

Keep in mind the potatoes will puff up like a souffle as they cook and then deflate a little when you remove them from the oven so make sure there’s room in the pan for them to grow. You can also bake them in small crocks or ramekins for cute, individual servings to have on a special occasion. These are that.

Special occasion potatoes.

Chantilly Potatoes with Parmesan Crust

Parmesan Crusted Chantilly Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Parmesan Crusted Chantilly Potatoes

Chantilly potatoes are the softest, creamiest, richest potatoes you will ever meet! With whipped cream in the mix and a salty, crispy Parmesan topping, decadence is their middle name.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
2 pounds organic Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 cup cold milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup (heaping) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup cold heavy cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips. Butter a 9-by-13-inch or similar sized baking or casserole dish. (You can also use small crocks for individual servings).
  2. Place the potatoes in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with about 1 teaspoon salt and add enough water to cover the potatoes completely.
  3. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the saucepan set over low heat, shake the pan and allow some of the excess moisture to cook off - about 2 minutes.
  5. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or mash them with a potato masher in(to) a large bowl.
  6. On low speed beat in the milk, butter, garlic powder and onion powder. Beat in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Allow them to cool off to room temperature.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large stainless steel bowl beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Store in refrigerator.
  8. When the potatoes are cool to the touch beat in a third of the whipped cream on low speed. Add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold it in.
  9. Add the potatoes to the greased pan, spread them out and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese all over the top. Bake 25 - 30 minutes until lightly golden.
  10. Turn on the broiler and broil 1 - 2 minutes until it gets some brown spots.
  11. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Adapted from Food and Wine

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/parmesan-crusted-chantilly-potatoes/

Greek Mac and Cheese

Greek Mac 'n' Cheese

This mac & cheese starts with classic white cheddar cheese and then hands it a Greek twist with feta cheese, baby spinach, roasted red peppers, dill weed and cinnamon. Yes, you read that right. Cinnamon. It joins forces with all the other flavors and kind of fades into the background so it doesn’t jump right out at you.

At first bite you taste the creamy richness of the sauce peppered with the salty bite of feta followed by the brininess of jarred red peppers and tender baby spinach. There’s a little touch of sweetness from the dill weed and cinnamon. All of it wrapped around chewy elbow macaroni.

I’ll let you in on a macaroni & cheese secret. One I learned from my Mom. Because I like you lots and lots. Instead of mixing the cheese sauce into the macaroni and then pouring it into your casserole dish, put the macaroni in the casserole dish and pour the sauce over top. It will turn out a lot creamier and less dry. I think it’s because the macaroni doesn’t have a chance to soak up the sauce as much as when it’s mixed in. I tested this theory when I first started making mac & cheese – mine wasn’t turning out as good as my Mom’s – this is why. You can use this technique with any mac & cheese recipe. It will look you have too much sauce but it will soak in as it bakes. Trust me.

Anyhoo, this takes more time to prep than it does to bake. It’s time well spent. Trust me. You start by sauteing onion, garlic and red peppers then you make the cheese sauce while the macaroni cooks. The cheese sauce has butter, flour, dijon, milk and lots of white cheddar cheese. The feta, spinach, dill, cinnamon and cooked aromatics get mixed into the sauce then poured over the cooked pasta, topped with panko for a little bit of crunch and baked.

Twenty five minutes later the most comforting and delicious tasting mac & cheese you will ever want to meet will come out of your oven.

Trust me.

Greek Mac and Cheese

Greek Mac & Cheese

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings as a side dish

Greek Mac & Cheese

This mac & cheese starts with classic white cheddar cheese and then hands it a Greek twist with feta cheese, baby spinach, roasted red peppers, dill weed and cinnamon.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots or 1 small red onion, diced
1 (jarred) roasted red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 + 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
3 cups baby spinach leaves
8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and saute the shallots, red pepper, garlic, a big pinch of salt and a dash of black pepper until tender, stirring often about 7 - 8 minutes. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same pan over low heat melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring 4 - 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and mustard then turn the heat up. Bring to a simmer, still stirring and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Turn heat down to low and whisk in the dill weed, cinnamon, nutmeg and cheddar. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the onion mixture, feta and spinach. Taste and season lightly with salt and heavy with black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water to al dente. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 or similar sized casserole pan.
  5. Drain the pasta and add half to the buttered casserole pan. Ladle half the sauce over it. Add the rest of the pasta and then top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with panko.
  6. Bake 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let sit 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Adapted from Saveur

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-mac-and-cheese/