Molly’s Mac N Cheese Adventures

We decided to have a cooking day on Sunday. I wrote about the Chocolate Coconut Almond Tart, in the previous post. This time I’m talking about our mac n cheese adventures as we followed the Molly on the Range flowchart. We followed the right side, doubled the recipe and ended up with one baked dish and a batch of deep fried cubes.

Making the sauce took longer than expected, though Molly doesn’t really indicate how long it should take. We ended up using less milk because it never seemed to want to thicken up. It finally did though.

This was Fargo, the whole time we were grating/adding cheese.He can sure concentrate when he wants to.

In order to go for the deep fried mac, you need to do all of the steps but the baking. We made the two batches of mac in the morning and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours. I didn’t get a finished picture of the baked version, but it looked like this, with bread crumbs on top. YUM!

 

When it was time to fry, we dug out the VERY rarely used deep fryer and set up the flour, egg and bread crumb bowls.

It was quite a messy process, cutting the mac up into cubes, then rolling each one in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.

We could only put four into the fryer at a time, so four batches of four. It took about $4 worth of oil to fill the fryer. So, it was a lot of work, and a little on the spendy side when all of the butter and cheese is added. They sure turned out pretty! They were really good, needed some salt/pepper, but good.

Both versions were excellent. Our conclusion was that we’ll stick with the baked, since it was as good as the fried, and a whole lot less work. Chalk up another round of kitchen adventures to the empty nesters.

Pictures (except for the flowchart) taken with the fancy camera!

Molly on the Range Recipe Round Up Part II

I didn’t think that I had taken so many pictures of the Molly recipes, but when I started typing out and putting together the post, I realized I needed to break it into two. Here is the second half. Hopefully I will test out even more in the near future, though tonight I’m going with a Spicy Cauliflower Burger from Pinch of Yum. I’ll report back on that one soon.

Unfortunately, Molly doesn’t have an online link to her Shakshuka Couscous, so I have a link to a post by Sarcastic Cooking. I haven’t spent much time on this site, so I don’t know much about it. Molly does not use Adobo Sauce, she uses Harissa seasoning. I had never heard of Harissa before, but luckily my mom happened to have some and she gave it to me. As a side note, I just saw Harissa Salsa at Trader Joes, though I didn’t try it yet. Molly doesn’t use pepper jack cheese, she uses feta. I believe these are the only two ingredient differences.

The onions, garlic and seasonings smelled incredible.

Molly says you can make this without the couscous if you don’t have time to let it cook. She has a whole backstory to this dish which is fun to read. I used the veggie broth base and I think I should have added a little more liquid.

This was interesting. It took way longer for the eggs to cook than I had anticipated.

Molly says you can leave them uncovered if you like a runnier yolk, or you can spoon the tomato/coucous mixture over top if you want more of a buttery textured yolk. That’s what I opted to do, especially since they were taking so long to cook. That is why you can’t see the eggs below.

Hubby thought it was excellent. I thought it was a little thick and overly tomato-y. I liked it a lot, but will definitely try to adjust just a tad next time.

My Ex-Boyfriend’s Meatless Balls was a MUST just because I thought the title was great. As mentioned in the previous post, the link goes to a video that Molly made. I have to give her credit for saying you use nuts without laughing. In the book, she gives the option to choose walnuts or almonds. I went with walnuts and I toasted them in the frying pan for a few minutes.

Then everything goes in the food processor, and blend. I tried to mix too much vs pulse and my blade began to lift from the bottom again. I had to mix more by hand. Also, I need to figure out how to fix my burner because the frying pan is tipped enough that the oil isn’t evenly divided, thus the bizarre looking arrangement below.

Let me tell you, these are AMAZING!! We tried one on its own and then we did the actual pasta with sauce/meatballs thing.

You can’t even tell by looking at them that they are meatless. And did I mention they were AMAZING?? Hubby, the meat eater, was super impressed. We were both very excited for lunch leftovers the next day. Definitely bringing these back for a repeat performance soon.

Fargo was, once again, worn out by all of the food excitement.

 

Molly on the Range Recipe Round-Up Part I

Sorry for the delay in posting. This was a longer one to put together (I actually ended up dividing it into two posts). I’ve been spending more time cooking/baking so have a lot to write about. It’s also tax time. For some reason, I decided to wash and iron all of the curtains yesterday and it took a HUGE chunk of the day, way more time than I thought. I spent time chatting with a few friends and my kiddos and I loved every minute, though it also cut into blog post creation time. But here it goes.

Molly on the Range is a fun book/cookbook and so far, every recipe we have tried has gotten four thumbs up. Co-workers with whom I’ve shared a few recipes, have made them and also enjoyed. Since I began the baking/cooking (more adventurous cooking)/kitchen adventures/blog, I have mostly pulled recipes from food blogs, but this is a book worth having. Some of the recipes are on Molly’s blog, but the book versions may/may not have tweaks. Others are not on her blog, though I’ve found other bloggers who have posted about them. For one recipe, Molly has an online video vs a blog post, which is what I used for the link.

I am including two of Molly’s recipes in this post, Hummus, Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos. The Part II post will include Shakshuka Couscous (this version is the closest I can find online and I’ll note the differences), and My Ex-Boyfriend’s Meatless Balls.

We love hummus, and have tried numerous varieties and versions. I followed her recipe closely, even soaked and cooked the dried chickpeas as directed.

chick peas soaking

I’m having a little issue with the food processor. The blade will start to float up off the bottom when I mix for too long. It happened here and it happened with another recipe. But this is what the chick peas looked like after the soaking and cooking.

Molly is right, eating it warm is amazing and makes a huge difference!

Next up is the Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos. Hubby was a little wary of this one, but let me tell you that it was so incredibly delicious, we’ve had it twice already. I used the vegetable broth base vs. the chicken broth base.

Seasoned cauliflower ready to be roasted.

Add the sauteed onions, the raw onions, the tahini sauce, some cilantro and roll it up, and OH MY!!

Just as a refresher, here is the book.

 

Brussels Sprout Rosti with Balsamic Dijon Yogurt

I have now tried three recipes from my Molly on the Range cookbook.

And all three have been AMAZING! I made hummus, starting with dried chick peas, and the brussels sprout “latkes” I’ll be talking about here, and last night I made Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos (hummus and shawarma tacos in a later post). Holy cow  it’s been a fun food week.

The first thing to note is that the link I am sharing for the Brussels Sprout Rosti is not quite the same as what is in the book. I will tell you the differences as I go along, as I followed the recipe in the book.

I started with “shaved” Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joes, which I think may have been bigger chunks than the “finely shredded” she listed in the ingredients. Once I started putting it all together, I had the sinking feeling that there was no way I’d end up with a pancake shape.

 

In the book vs the website, she calls for 2 cloves of minced garlic and 3/4 cups of flour or chick pea flour. I used regular flour.

It was a challenge to get them into a pancake shape in the frying pan. It’s also a challenge to use my very special pan, because the burner is slanted and all of the oil runs to the lower half. I have to constantly tip it back the other way.

br sp frying

As these were cooking, and they took a long time, hubby was making the Dijon Balsamic Yogurt. In the book, she uses full fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. The recipe calls for 2 T of honey.  We agreed that next time we will use less, maybe 1 T, as it was slightly sweeter than we prefer.

dijon balsamic

 

Huge surprise when it was time to flip the sprout latkes and they held!

br sp latkes

Hubby said he was skeptical about this meal,but whoa boy, it was awesome! I might brown them a bit more next time.

br sp latke sauce

I’m actually going to make more sauce and use it as slaw dressing. I think it will be good.  Hopefully I’m right.

Another win was bringing home a jar of Everything But The Bagel mix from Trader Joes and adding it to the top of my bread before baking. WOWOWOW!!!

everything bread

Like I said, it’s been a good food week!