Let that sink in. Creeeeamy grits with crispy bacon and caramelized corn (cooked in the bacon fat, hello!) topped with cajun shrimp and shallots. Hello, I said. Hello.
Cook Time: 25-ish minutes
Adapted from Wendy Weekend Gourmet
***Can be made dairy-free by omitting cheese (the corn adds hella flavor anyway) and subbing half & half with dairy-free milk of choice (I prefer almond)***
• 3 slices of bacon, chopped
• 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
• 1 cup chicken stock (or veggie for my pescetarian frenz)
• 1 cup half & half
• 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 2 shallots, diced
• 2 green onions, finely sliced on the bias (plus more for garnish, if desired)
• 1 lb shrimp
• 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
• 1/2 tbsp thyme
• 2 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
• Freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste
• Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon and set aside.
• Drain all but 1 tbsp of the bacon grease and add the corn. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until corn is golden brown and bacon-y. Stir occasionally. Once browned, remove corn and set aside.
• In a medium sauce pot, add half & half and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until cornmeal is incorporated. Add salt, pepper, thyme, corn, and cheddar cheese, and cook until cornmeal has thickened. Honestly, this could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Don't ask me why. I think it has something to do with how hot your milk and stock are. I'm not a scientist, though.
Note: add more milk as needed if grits get too thick. you want them to be nice and creamy.
• While the grits are cooking, add coconut oil to the same skillet that you cooked the bacon in, and heat over med-high heat. Once hot, add shallots and green onions, and cook until shallots are translucent, about 30-45 seconds. Add white wine and cook down for 30 seconds, then add shrimp and cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
• Cook shrimp until pink, about 3-4 minutes per side, and remove skillet from heat.
• Pour a hearty bowl of grits, sprinkle generously with bacon, and top with a heaping helping of shrimp (make sure to get the shallots and green onions in there). Top with fresh green onion and serve hot.
This is a simple, elegant looking app that's easy to whip up. I love a good cheese plate, but I thought this would be a fun and unique alternative. I've made two versions here- goat cheese, honey, and walnuts (creamy, crunchy, sweet) and herbed goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest (salty, savory, herbaceous). I'll never say "herbaceous" again, I promise. Anyway, I think the...herby... one would be GREAT with pomegranate, but allegedly they were out of season when I made these, womp womp.
You're just going to add portions to your liking, so I don't have a recipe with exact measurements for you, but here what you'll need.
• 2 endives (will yield about 18-ish useable leaves)
• 1-2 tbsp honey
• A couple tbsp of chopped walnuts
• About 3 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
• About a tsp of garlic powder
• About 1/4 tsp of dried oregano
• About 3 fresh chives, chopped
• Tbsp of fresh lemon juice, plus half tbsp of lemon zest
• Sea salt, to taste
• Cracked black pepper, to taste
• 3-4 oz goat cheese
Optional toppings: balsamic glaze (highly recommended!), pomegranate
In a small bowl, mix half of your goat cheese with the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Spread on half of your endive leaves, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with lemon zest. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
Take the remaining goat cheese and spread on the second half of your endive leaves. Top with salt, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey
That's it! Keep cold until ready to serve.
My girlfriend Julian came over for dinner last night. We drank red wine, listened to jazz, watched a movie, and had a feast. On the menu was this amazing grilled peach flatbread with whipped honey ricotta and basil. I'll let you take a minute to reflect. This honestly might be one of my favorite things I've ever made.
Every single component is wildly delicious. The naan is perfectly crisp with a chewy center. The peaches are sweet and tart with a beautiful char. The ricotta...my god, the ricotta. It's light, and creamy, with just a hint of sweetness. I had some leftover and straight up ate it by the spoonful as I assembled the flatbread. I actually have a little bit more in the fridge that I'm about to spread onto some toast. And finally, the basil helps to balance out the richness, and adds beautiful color, making this the most scrumptious little bite of heaven.
• Flatbread of choice (I used this naan flatbread)
• 1 cup ricotta
• 1.5 tbsp honey
• 2 small peaches, sliced very thinly (I used 1 yellow and 1 white fleshed)
• 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• Pinch of salt
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees and fit a baking rack over a baking sheet
Note: If you don't have a baking rack, just lay your flatbreads directly onto a lined baking sheet. Using a baking rack will allow the heat to circulate under the flatbread, with helps cook everything more evenly, but this will still turn out great without one)
• Heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with non-stick olive oil spray. Once hot, arrange peaches in one layer and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until each side has deep grill marks and the slices have softened, without becoming mushy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
**before flipping the peaches, spray the uncooked tops with the olive oil spray, and sprinkle with salt, then flip and cook the other side
• In a blender or food processor, blend the honey and ricotta until the ricotta is light and silky. This should just take a few pulses
• Spread the ricotta mixture over the flatbread, stopping about half an inch from the edge, and top with the grilled peaches. Place onto baking rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy. Remove and top with chopped basil. Add back to the oven for about 30 seconds, to bake the basil into the peaches and ricotta. Quickly remove so that the basil doesn't burn.
• Serve hot and enjoy!
Guys. This is my no-fail, go-to, melty mac & cheese. I make it for every holiday, so I guess it's become my "signature dish." I bake it in the oven just long enough that the top layer gets a little crispy and seals in all the oozing, gooey cheese underneath. Y'all all know you love mac & cheese, so I'm not gonna even try to sell this one to you. Just keep reading if you want to learn how to make perfect mac & cheese EVERY time.
First, you gotta make a roux. This is what will make your mac & cheese niiice and rich and creamy. In a large sauce pan, melt your butter until it starts bubbling, then add in your flour and whisk vigorously to remove all clumps.
Once your flour is totally incorporated and has gotten nice and brown (a process that takes no more than a minute), you'll start whisking in your milk and cream. I like to add just a few tbsp at first, which makes it easier to blend. Whisk til smooth, then add the remaining milk and cream slowly, while whisking quickly and continuously.
Thennnn, you're gonna add the cheese. I like to use several different kinds.
Once your cheese has melted and your sauce has thickened, you'll pour it over your pasta (which will already be waiting for you in a greased dish), and then pop it in the oven!
While it cooks, your kitchen (or entire 1 bedroom apartment) will be filled with the intoxicating smell of warm, bubbly cheese. It is torture. Praying for you.
But when it's done, you'll have this. A beautiful, crisp top layer covering miles and miles of melty cheese and pasta. Ugh. I just love it so much.
Ingredients (makes approx 4 servings. I usually triple this to serve 8-10 for holidays..shown above):
• 1.5 cups elbow macaroni
• 3 tbsp butter
• 3 tbsp all purpose flour
• 2 cups milk and half & half combined
• 1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
• 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
• ***secret ingredient*** 1/2 tsp mustard powder (trust me! it adds this bite that you just can't get with anything else)
• 2 cups shredded cheese (I use cheddar, colby jack, and 6 blend Italian)
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 10 minutes (just under al dente). Once cooked, drain and transfer to a greased dish (about 8" x 10")
• Over low/medium heat, melt butter
• Add flour by the tbsp and whisk until totally incorporated. Let cook until browned and bubbly (no more than a minute)
• Gradually pour in milk/cream and whisk continuously to avoid clumps
• Add in your cheese, salt, pepper, and mustard powder, and stir to combine. Allow cheese to melt and sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally
• Once thickened, *carefully* taste the sauce to make sure it's seasoned well, add more salt and pepper if necessary, and then pour sauce over pasta, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown
That's all, folks!
Note: you'll bake your mac & cheese for more or less time, depending on how deep your dish is. About 25-30 for a 2 inch dish.
Note: feel free to manipulate the bake times depending on how funny you like your mac & cheese. I personally like mine a little firmer.
Hi! I'm Shantal.