Week in a Day
Capture the attention of family and guests with this classy culinary delight of luscious crab meat and triple creamy cheeses topped with spicy panko breadcrumbs.
- 1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta with lines or conchiglie (small fat tube/shell shaped pasta with lines)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- About 2 tablespoons thyme leaves (several sprigs), freshly chopped
- About 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked for shells and flaked
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 pound grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1 rounded cup)
- 1/3 pound shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese (about 1 rounded cup)
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot brand
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- A generous handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Add the pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes (it will be undercooked). Cool, drain well and add it to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium size saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO, two turns of the pan, and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to tender, 6-8 minutes. Add the crabmeat to the vegetables and season liberally with seafood seasoning. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat.
In a medium size saucepot over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste, and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the mustard and the cheese and stir in a figure 8 motion. Add the vegetables and crab and sauce to the bowl with the pasta and transfer the mixture to individual baking crocks or a large casserole dish. This can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
To complete the dish, melt a couple of tablespoons butter in a small skillet over low heat and add 3 tablespoons hot sauce. Warm through, then add the panko crumbs and toss to evenly coat the crumbs in the sauce mixture. Cool the crumbs, then toss in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Top the mac ‘n cheese with the spicy crumb mixture.
Arrange individual crocks on a baking sheet or put the casserole on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until brown and heated through, about 10 minutes. If cooking from cold, the mac ‘n cheese will take 40-45 minutes, but add the crumbs during the last 10 minutes of baking.
Warm your family tonight with sirloin shepherd’s pie topped with tasty tater tots and sharp cheddar cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 pounds coarse ground sirloin, patted very dry with paper towels
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- About 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 rounded tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or amber beer
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup watercress leaves, chopped
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 bag frozen tater tots
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat with the oil, two turns of the pan. When the oil ripples, add the meat and brown well, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the vegetables, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and reduce the heat to simmer.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour; cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the cider or beer. Reduce by half, then whisk in the stock and thicken to a loose gravy.
Place the meat and vegetables in a casserole dish and stir in the watercress and gravy. Top with the cheddar and tots, then bake until the tots are golden and crispy on top.
Week in a Day
Looking for a recipe for leftover chicken? Layers of flavors are in this cheesy chicken casserole with a peppery sauce to eat now or easily reheat for later in the week.
- 4 medium poblano peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 12 medium-large tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and quartered
- 2 small handfuls cilantro leaves, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- 12 6-inch flour tortillas or 16 5-inch corn tortillas, softened over flame or dry skillet
- 2 pounds cooked chicken, meat pulled or shredded
- 1 cup Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (from about 1/2 pound piece)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (from about 1/2 pound piece)
- Raw red onion rings, for garnish
Heat the broiler to high. Arrange the poblanos on a sheet pan, put them under the hot broiler and char until blackened on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Leave the door of the oven cracked to allow the steam to escape. The peppers can also be easily charred over an open stovetop flame if you have gas burners.
Put the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to sit until cool enough to handle. Peel and seed the peppers.
Heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeño, onions and garlic and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Put the tomatillos and a small handful of cilantro in a food processor. Coarsely chop the poblanos and add them to the processor. Process until almost a smooth sauce forms, about 1 minute. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir to combine. Stir in the cumin, honey and stock and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes, then add the lime juice and turn off the heat.
Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a medium size casserole. Layer in three flour tortillas or four corn tortillas, then top with some shredded chicken, dot with some sauce and small spoonfuls of Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream and sprinkle with a little Swiss and Jack cheeses. Repeat twice more. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal.
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Put the casserole on a baking sheet and bake until heated through and bubbly on top, about 40-50 minutes. The baking sheet will catch any drips of sauce or cheese. Garnish the stacked enchilada casserole with raw red onion rings and serve
A trio of bright green fresh herbs highlights pasta with rainbow chard infused with citrus zest and juices.
- 1 bunch spring onions or 2 leeks
- 1 pound lemon spaghetti or spaghetti
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (use spring garlic when in season), thinly sliced
- 1 bundle rainbow chard, stemmed, leaves washed and dried and shredded into 1/4-inch thick ribbons
- Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 organic orange
- 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed, about 25 leaves, stacked then thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (a handful), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), finely chopped
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup basil leaves (about 25 leaves), loosely packed, stacked then thinly sliced
Clean the onions, if using, and trim. Finely chop the whites of the onions, then thinly slice their green tops and reserve. If using leeks, halve them lengthwise, thinly slice, then wash them in a large bowl of cold water. Dry on a kitchen towel.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, 3-4 turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spring onion whites or all of the leeks and the garlic. Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the chard and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon and orange zest. Reduce the heat to low.
When the pasta is just about ready, add a cup of the starchy cooking water and the lemon and orange juice to the greens. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, butter and herbs for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to combine and the sauce to properly coat the pasta. Add a little cheese to the mix and pass more at table.
I don’t knit or crochet or anything like that, but I love love love yarn-bombing artist Olek. She’ll be crocheting live outside the New Museum tomorrow, and she once covered the Wall Street Bull in a multicolored cozy.
The pictures of her work/live space in this week’s New York magazine are pretty fantastic. Take a look.