Sunday, May 16, 2010

My FAVORITE Mac N' Cheese . . . with Roasted Garlic, Caramelized Onions, Chicken and Parmesan Cheese!

Mac N' Cheese is a regular on the favorite comfort food list . . . but it makes a rare appearance at my house . . . so when I do make it from scratch I like to go all out and make it with some of my favorite ingredients like roasted garlic, caramelized onions, Parmesan cheese, chicken and buttery brioche bread crumbs. Delish!!! My FAVORITE Mac N' Cheese
Recipe by: Emily

2 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1 medium Onion, chopped
4 Roasted Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Milk
1 cup Shredded Provolone Cheese
1 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 cups Bread Crumbs, I like to use coarse brioche crumbs best
1. Cook macaroni according to directions on the package to al dente. Drain pasta and set aside in a large bowl.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan, melt together. Add the 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar to the melted butter/oil, add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown. Lower heat to medium low and continue to cook onion stirring occasionally until softened and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

3. While the onions cook cut 3 chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces. Once the onions have caramelized for 15 minutes, higher the temperature to medium and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and just cooked through. Add the minced roasted garlic to the chicken and remove skillet from heat. Spoon chicken over the macaroni and set aside while making the cheese sauce. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Use the same skillet that you cooked the chicken in to make the sauce, it will deglaze the pan. Higher heat to medium, add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the melted butter and whisk while cooking for 1 minute until incorporated and smooth. Add 2 1/2 cups milk to the flour/butter mixture and whisk while continuing to cook. Once the milk mixture begins to thicken and bubble add the shredded cheeses and continue to whisk until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Taste cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and chicken mixture and mix well. Pour macaroni mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish and top with 2 cups of brioche bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bread crumbs are browned and the macaroni is bubbly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving, enjoy!

Bike Birthday Cake and Princess Tiana Birthday Cake . . .

I love making cakes for my nieces and nephews and family members! . . . May and June are very busy birthday months in our family . . . so here are two of the latest to make their appearances at parties this month . . . Princess Tiana was a delicious white cake with a white chocolate buttercream frosting and was requested by the little princess below who just turned 3! Look at those brown eyes! She is going to be a serious heartbreaker one day! (Thank you handsome husband of mine for whipping out the fantastic cupcakes for the party too!) Below is the bike cake that I made for my nephew who turned 6. It was a from the heart cake all the way with his fam cheering him on as he crossed the finish line in a birthday bike race! Love you B & K! Thanks for being such a great sports kiddles and letting your aunt make your cakes!