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Smoky Mac and Cheese

The Butcher’s birthday was this past Sunday. We celebrated all week. I made the Butcher’s favorite dishes. One of his all time favorites is macaroni and cheese. I am not a fan so I don’t usually make it. I knew I had to step up to the IMG_8114rplate for his birthday. I searched online but didn’t really see a recipe that was “over the top”. I came up with my own concoction and the Butcher raved about it. It’s a good thing because the recipe made enough to feed an army.

Smoky Mac and Cheese

1 pound of elbow macaroni  (or pasta of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 cups of half and half or whole milk
1 to 1 1/4 pounds of freshly grated smoked provolone and mozzarella cheese (available at your local meat market)
3 Tablespoons of Butter
1 small onion, diced
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
Optional toppings crumbled fried bacon and cut diced green onionsmac and cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well and set aside. Warm milk in a saucepan over low heat. Place the butter in a roaster pan and place over medium heat. When the butter is melted add the onion and saute for 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat under the roaster pan to low and stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Whisk constantly until the flour, onions and butter are mixed. Gradually stir in the warmed milk. Gradually introduce the cheese to the warmed milk mixture one handful at a time. Continue stirring the mixture until the cheese is completely melted. Add the pasta and stir until it is completely covered with the cheese mixture. If you wish you can add crumbled fried bacon and diced green onions to the macaroni and cheese.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. This will easily provide 10 meal servings or 20 side dish servings. The leftovers are great heated up.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Super Wings

Superbowl is Sunday. Maybe you have forgotten or maybe you are caught up in the frenzy–either way, good eats are a necessary part of the ritual. Wings are always a popular choice, and I am going to show you how to cook them so you are relaxed and able to enjoy the party. Mauri-1

Super Wings

5 pounds of whole wings (cut off the tips and discard, cut the remainder into 2 pieces) or 5 pounds of Party Wings available at your local butcher
1 to 2 bottles of hot sauce (Walnut Creek brand or Moore’s Wing Sauce)
8 to 12 ounces of Runion’s Mix (Available at your local meat market)
8 Tablespoons of butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take wings and moisten with hot sauce. Shake off excess moisture. Add Runion’s Mix to a clean gallon Ziplock bag. Add several moistened wings at a time and shake in the bag to coat the wings. Put the dusted wings on a paper towel and continue until all of the wings are coated. If the bag gets messy, you may have to start over with a clean bag and additional Runion’s Mix.

Take 2 baking sheets with a one inch lip on them. cut up butter into tablespoon size and put 4 tablespoons on each baking sheet. Put the baking sheets in the preheated oven and allow the butter to melt. Carefully pull out the oven racks and place the prepared wings on the sizzling butter. Fill both pans. Cook for 25 minutes, turn and cook for an additional 20 minutes.wings

Your wings will be crispy and delicious and best of all, no one has to stand over the stove frying wings to appease your hungry crowd.

For a dipping sauce, take hot sauce or wing sauce, add butter and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. This will make a rich sauce to compliment your wings.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

 

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Thanksgiving Turkey and stuffing

We are definitely on the countdown to Thanksgiving and the other holiday in DecemberMauri-1 which shall not be mentioned yet. The weather has felt like spring so it is fair to say that Thanksgiving has come upon us suddenly this year. No need to fret. There is really little preparation that can be made until the week of Thanksgiving so you are still right on schedule.   Take a deep breath and get prepared for the traditional feast. I use Betty Crocker as my guide and she has not let me down yet.  Here are my tips for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that anyone can prepare.

Turkey (12 to 24 pounds) Make sure neck, giblets, etc. are removed from the neck cavity
2 Tablespoons of Salt
3 Tablespoons of Butter

Rinse cavities of turkey, lightly salt and then rub butter into the cavities. I put my turkey in a disposable aluminum pan so clean up is easy. The turkey is now ready for the stuffing.

Stuffing

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves)Turkey
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter
8 ounces of chicken broth (or chicken stock)
9 cups of soft bread cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning (1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Cook and stir onion and celery in butter and chicken broth until celery is tender, remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Stuff the cavities of the turkey with the stuffing mixture and place breast side down in the pan you are using to roast the turkey. This is a tip I got from Jane Snow. Your turkey will be very juicy. The oven should be set at 325 degrees. Place the stuffed turkey in the oven.

Approximate cooking times are as follows:

8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 1/2 to 7 hours

Internal Temperature should be 185 degrees and the leg should easily pull apart when the turkey is done.

Remember to include the weight of the stuffing with the weight of the turkey when you are looking at the cooking time. The stuffing recipe can easily be doubled for a larger turkey.

When the turkey is thoroughly cooked, immediately remove the stuffing from the turkey and store separately. Let the turkey set for about 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy and have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I can see your faces, you are thinking, “Boy the Butcher’s Wife is taking it easy today”.  You are partially right.  I am going to spend the day withMauri-1 my mom so I am doing an easy blog.  Somehow, if you get mom and apple pie into the blog it piques the interest.  Another reason is that I made the Butcher a grilled cheese sandwich yesterday.  He had no idea how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  I thought if he didn’t know there were probably others in the same boat.  You can always direct this blog to your kids.  Have a great day.  I know I am going to–mom I’ll be leaving shortly!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices of thick sliced bread of your choice (I used multi-grain)
2 slices of sliced cheese about 1/8 of an inch thick (I used Swiss Cheese)
2 to 3 Tablespoons of butter
non stick skilletToasted cheese

Put the skillet on a medium burner and heat. Put 5 butter pats on one slice of bread. When the skillet is heated place the bread, butter side down, in the skillet. Layer the cheese on top of the bread. Place the other slice of bread on top of the cheese. Place 5 butter pats on the top slice of bread. Allow bread to toast for about 2 to 3 minutes. You want it to be golden brown. Flip the bread and toast the other side. I cover the pan with a lid so the cheese will be nice and melted.

I served this with a bowl of Tomato Basil soup and the Butcher was extremely happy. Dinner was done in 10 minutes. It takes so little to keep the Butcher happy.

Until next time…from our Butcher Block to your Table.

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