I keep thinking that I will get back in the swing of things and start posting recipes more regularly. Somehow life continues to derail my good intentions. It's a new month and a new opportunity. We'll see how I do. Let's get straight to these two delicious macaroni recipes. First, the one I mentioned in a previous post that we thoroughly enjoyed, Skillet Macaroni and Beef, from the Cook's Country magazine. This was a quick and easy dinner and made more than expected.
Skillet Macaroni and Beef
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 lg. onion, choppped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. elbow macaroni
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Cook beef in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Drain beef, leaving 2 TB fat in the skillet, and reserve. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic to fat in skillet and cook, covered, until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
Add macaroni, tomato sauce, broth, oregano and reserved beef to skillet and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve. (I covered it and let the cheese melt before serving).
Yield: While the recipe says 4, I would say 6.
Okay, on to the next recipe. If you buy the right size of macaroni (although I have no idea what the "right" size is) you should have enough left to try this recipe as well. It's another recipe from Cook's Country and is yet another skillet recipe too. We made this about a week ago. I was very impressed with how creamy the macaroni turned out. I'm hard to please when it comes to homeade mac and cheese, but this hit the spot.
Skillet Macaroni and Cheese
2 TB unsalted butter
2 c. fresh bread crumbs (I made them in the food processor with white bread, but you could eliminate all this and just use dried ones and I think it would probably work...although the fresh were delicious)
Salt and pepper
3 3/4 c. water, plus more as needed
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 c. elbow macaroni
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. hot sauce
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
(I bought both cheeses in blocks and shredded them, so that they would melt better)
For breadcrumbs: Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
Bring water, 1 1/4 c. evaporated milk and 1/2 tsp salt to simmer in skillet over medium-high heat. Add macaroni and cook, stirring often, until macaroni is al dente, 8-10 minutes.
Whisk remaining evaporated milk, cornstarch and hot sauce in small bowl, then stir into skillet. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in cheeses, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust consistency. Sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs. Serve.
(The hot sauce does not make this dish at all spicy. It just adds flavor.)