Category Archives: Side Dishes

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Here at A LA CARTE we are passionate about our Mac ‘n Cheese.

In fact, we have rules.

#1 Mac ’n Cheese must not be from a box. EVER.

#2 Mac ’n Cheese must be made with a quality aged cheddar.

#3 Mac ’n Cheese must not have unnecessary add-ins. No broccoli, no tuna, no bacon, no chicken, no lobster. No exceptions.

Classic Macaroni & Cheese
Makes about 8 servings

1 pkg. (16 oz.)  cavatappi pasta ( elbows, gemelli, or penne)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
2 cups milk
8 ounces aged cheddar, shredded

– Preheat oven to 375°.

– Grease bottom and sides of 2-quart casserole.

– Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to cooking pot.

– Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Using whisk, stir in flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until well blended.

– Slowly add milk to flour mixture, whisking constantly. When sauce begins to thicken, remove from heat. Let mixture cool for about five minutes.

– Stir in cheese until melted.

– Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta in pot. Mix well. Transfer to casserole.

– Bake uncovered at 375° for 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.

In the photo above, we’ve used cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta and a 3 year old extra-aged artisanal cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese Company, called Grafton Gold.

We’d offer to share, but it’s all gone!

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Filed under Cheese, Main Dishes, Pasta, Side Dishes

Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables

Why didn’t anyone serve vegetables like this when I was a kid?? They not only look beautiful with their glossy jewel tones and crispy caramelized edges, but they have amazing flavor. Mmmm…crunchy, slightly salty, accented with the sweetness of fresh thyme. Best of all, the roasting process could not be easier! Try these as a side dish to a holiday ham or turkey, or just them shine alone as a vegetarian course. Make sure you save the leftovers—just warm them up and arrange them atop fresh greens for a healthy and delicious salad.

Thyme-Scented Roasted Vegetables
Makes about 8 servings

6 cups assorted fresh vegetables (such as brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and onion)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

• Preheat oven to 450°F.
• Rinse and lightly scrub vegetables. Dry thoroughly. Pare vegetables if necessary. Cut all vegetables into uniform pieces, about 1 inch each.
• In large bowl, toss vegetables with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.
• Grease the bottom of a shallow roasting pan (not glass) or jelly-roll pan. Spread the vegetables in the pan in a single layer. Do not crowd the vegetables.
• Roast vegetables, stirring every ten minutes, about 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

Heather

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Filed under Entertaining, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Quick Cabbage Side Dish

I absolutely love cabbage — warm, cold, anything in between!  In a slaw, with Corned Beef, sautéed, roasted, simmered. Red, green — it doesn’t matter.  I made a tasty side dish the other night with half of a leftover green cabbage from a shoot.  I thought I would share it with any of my “cabbage cronies.”

I caramelized a large onion in 1 tablespoon each  vegetable oil and butter.  Add a sprinkling of sugar, salt and black pepper. Saute over medium heat until onions start to get a brown caramelized  look.   Add 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded and saute until softened.  Stir in about 1/3 cup chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds; cover and cook over low heat until mixture becomes very tender.  Meanwhile, cook about 3/4 cup whole wheat egg noodles; drain and stir into cabbage mixture.

We ate it in no time!  I wish I made more for leftovers. Oh well, next time.

C

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