December 27, 2010

Christmas Dinner: Coastal Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Spring Rolls


Belated Merry Christmas to everyone! This year I had a very low key Christmas without a big feast. Quite a contrast to Thanksgiving! I didn't have anything planned, and only decided on what to cook around 6pm the night of! I figure after such a huge Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to keep it simple and quick. Simple it was, but it certainly wasn't quick! We didn't start eating until almost 9pm!

Coastal Chedder Mac & Cheese
(adapted from Whole Foods)

6 Tbsp. butter
3 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 quart milk
1 tsp. cayenne
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
4 cups diced roasted cherry tomatoes
2 cups grated coastal cheddar
1 cup grated mozzarella 
2 pounds cooked penne or macaroni
1 cup parmesan
1 cup french fried onion
  1. Heat oven to 350F. In large pan, melt butter: add onion, garlic,and (optional) herb of choice. Cook 2 - 3 minutes. Mix in flour, cook a minute more. Stirring with a whisk, stir in milk slowly, bring to strong simmer, then lower, add cayenne, salt and pepper, and tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in cheddar and mozzarella. Blend well. Combine sauce and cooked pasta in large container. Place in buttered hotel pan. Mix fried onion with parmesan. Sprinkle over top and bake, 30 - 35 minutes.


Avocado Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

4 sheets of Vietnamese rice paper
1 cup of shredded cabbage
1/2 cup of shredded carrot
1 avocado sliced
stewed tofu skin (optional)
4 tablespoon of Asian Chicken Salad dressing
  1. wet the rice paper with water and set on the plate until soft
  2. spread 1 tablespoon of Asian Chicken Salad dressing on the rice paper
  3. put 1/4 of cabbage, carrot, avocado and tofu skin in the middle of the rice paper. (tofu skin is only optional, you can add anything you want.. turkey meat, ham or any meat would be good too)
  4. roll up like a burrito.
  5. cut in half and serve.

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