Thursday, September 24, 2009

Most Delicious Mac Ever.

A few months ago I was reading one of my favorite local/ food blogs and I was introduced to the idea of adding a few of my favorite things to one of my absolute favorite dishes. Jalapenos + Bacon + Macaroni and Cheese. Oh gosh. It's so good.

There are pictures and words and possibly some semblance of a recipe on that original post but I must say I didn't really pay attention for the drooling. This is what I came up with after those three magical things were put together for my brain to wrap itself around.

1 lb box of Rigatoni (cooked al dente) drain and set aside

4 Tbls Butter- melt in heavy saucepan add 4 Tbls flour, cook roux until bubbly and the raw flour smell is gone

Add 4 cups of milk- I do it slowly and whisk the roux in as I go. Bring to a low boil and let thicken a bit.

To make it super fantastic: Add chopped up Jalapeno slices from the jar (hot, mild, many or few- it's up to you) Bacon- I just used a package of the Hormel bacon pieces you find near the salad dressing because I was being kind of lazy today. A few splashes of the juice from the jar of jalapenos.

Cheese, obviously. I use one package of shredded (2 cups) today I had Colby Jack on hand but I've used Cheddar or the 6-cheese Italian blend- it's whatever you like.

Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened to your liking pour the sauce over the pasta and mix it a bit.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

What We Ate: State Fair Edition

It's that time of year where seemingly all of Minnesota crams into St. Paul for 10 days of food and fun. It's really no secret, we go for the food.

We plan. We make lists of what we want to eat. We write down locations for these items so we are not sidetracked by fancy signs beckoning us to delicious sounding delicacies such as Australian Fries with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sour Cream or Carolina Barbecue Baked Potatoes. I almost *almost* got both of these today. It sounds sooooo good! And the smells? Oh the smells. Once you get out of the really crowded areas where the air is thick with sweetness and grease you can smell things like smoked meat or Italian seasoning and you just get ready to EAT.

So this year we did really well. We stuck to our game plan and we weren't totally stuffed when we walked back to our bus. That was surprising. We even had a few "extra" things since we were feeling pretty proud of our sticktuitiveness. Is that even a word?

Here's the low down, in the order we ate them:

Fried Green Pepper Rings.
This was a new one for us and the hype did not disappoint. I think it will be a Fair staple from now on.

Big Fat Bacon.
I love bacon. I think last year was the first year for BFB and we didn't get to the fair last year so we had to try it. 1/3 pound of bacon on a stick, maple glazed with orange chipotle dipping sauce. I'd probably get this again.

Lefse with Butter and Brown Sugar.
Probably one of Johns favorites- it was at the top of the list this year instead of one of the last things we got.

Peach Glazed Pigs Cheeks.
Sounds weird. Tastes like Pulled Pork. I could've used a little more sauce but they were pretty good. Next year I'll get the Pig Lickers (chocolate covered bacon) instead.

Cheese Curds from The Mouth Trap.
I'm not a huge fan of Cheese Curds but I'll never pass them up. These were lightly battered, salty and had just they right "chew". Another of John's favorites.

Fried Green Tomatoes.
This is my favorite. It's the only way I'll eat tomatoes unless they are chopped up on a taco or in a sauce of some sort. Serve with ranch and Tabasco. YUM!

Key Lime Pie Bar.
Frozen Key Lime Pie. Covered in Chocolate. On a stick.

Minnesota Wines.
We happened to wander into the Agriculture building and got ourselves some Wine on a Stick- three 2 ounce pours of our choice of wines. We tried a Rhubarb and a Raspberry from the fruit wines category and a dry red- I do not remember their names and the only one we walked away loving was the rhubarb. It was delightfully good.

Pronto Pup.
AKA Banquet on a Stick- just don't call it a corn dog. It's like a corn dog...but different. I personally like corn dogs better.

Next year we'll have to try out a few things we didn't this year. Dole Whip always catches my eye and at the last minute I think "It's just soft serve Ice cream!" and I don't get it. Of course the entire bus ride home I think of how good a little pineapple soft serve would be. Next year.

The one thing that wasn't originally on our list that we tried to get was a shake from the Dairy Barn. Those things are cheap and really really good. We inched our way around the barn and when we finally got to the line it was like 40 people long. We skipped it. Next year we'll do that right away before it gets crazy.