TASTE | Chef’s Table
Loaded Mac Stuffed Footballs
by Carly Cerniglia
Grab your gear and load up! It’s finally football season! Since we’ll all be home watching the games, we’re going to need to have an arsenal of delicious halftime recipes. This beauty is a quick and easy recipe that will make everyone a fan, even if they aren’t rooting for the same team. I’ve loaded up this gooey mac and cheese with bacon and scallions and stuffed it into a loaf of crusty Italian bread. Once the bread is gone, there’s plenty of leftovers to feed the whole team!
1 lb box cellentani pasta
6 slices center cut bacon
1 can condensed cheese soup
1 ¾ cup milk
1 8 oz block mild cheddar, grated by hand
¼ tsp garlic powder
A generous shake of smoked paprika
A shake of onion powder
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (or more for a kick!)
A squirt of Dijon mustard
2 scallions, sliced
1 or 2 loaves of rustic Italian bread, shaped like an oval
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, fry bacon until crisp. Drain oil and gently wipe out pan, keeping some bacon bits and grease in the pan. Add cheese soup and milk and gently heat til incorporated, stirring constantly. Once melted, add in ¾ of the cheddar cheese. Stir until incorporated. Add in seasonings and mustard. Turn off heat. Drain pasta once cooked and DO NOT RINSE. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
Hollow out the loaves of bread, leaving about ¼ to ½ inch of bread around the outside. (keep removed bread for snacking) Place in oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill with mac and cheese until overflowing. Top with cheddar and chopped bacon and return to oven for 8 minutes. Remove and top with scallions. Serve and enjoy! Leftover pasta can be eaten or saved for future meals.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella with Marinated Tomatoes
by Carly Cerniglia
The perfect appetizer for your late summer dinner, these prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella balls are delicious. These are so simple to put together you’ll find yourself making these time after time. September brings plentiful tomatoes, and what better way to highlight them than with high quality olive oil, fresh garlic, and basil. Serve with crusty bread to soak up all the leftover goodness.
2 T good quality olive oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
Black pepper to taste
Himalayan salt to taste
10 small mozzarella balls
¼ lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, peppercorns, garlic, and tomatoes. Let marinate 10-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wrap prosciutto around mozzarella balls.
Spread tomato mixture evenly on a rimmed plate. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on plate. Arrange mozzarella and basil leaves.
Finish with black pepper.
Suya Beef Kebabs and Herbed Couscous
by Carly Cerniglia
I believe one of the best ways to learn about different cultures is to cook their recipes. One can learn so much by studying flavors, spices, and cooking styles of other cultures. While researching, I came across Suya. Suya is a Nigerian street food. These spicy kebabs are seasoned with a peanut spice mix that packs a punch. The Suya marinates the meat, giving it lots of flavor and making it tender after grilling. Enjoy these kebabs with herbed couscous for a light lunch or dinner. If you cannot find a Suya spice mix (also known as yaji) in the store, I’ve included the recipe to make your own. Traditionally, the Suya spice mix uses ground peanuts. However, I’ve simplified this step using peanut butter powder.
Ingredients for Suya mix:
⅓ cup peanut butter powder
¼ cup powdered ginger
2 T cayenne pepper
¼ cup smoked paprika
2 T onion powder
2 T garlic powder
½ cube chicken bouillon
Pinch of hot pepper (I used Kasmiri)
1 T black pepper
2 lb sirloin
Suya spice mix (above), 2 T reserved
Lime wedges for serving
Herbed Couscous Ingredients:
2 cups cooked couscous
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Drizzle of olive oil
¼ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
⅓ grilled red onion, chopped
Chopped fresh herbs (I used Thai basil, basil, mint, cilantro, thyme, and oregano)
Freeze sirloin for 1 hour, then thinly slice. Mix Suya ingredients and reserve 2 Tablespoons for later. Rub the remaining Suya over the sirloin. Refrigerate overnight.
Skewer the sirloin so it is flat on the skewers. Slice an onion into 3 rounds, skewering each to keep them together on the grill. Spray everything with nonstick spray. Grill skewers on a hot grill for 5 to 7 minutes turning once, erring on the side of medium/medium rare. You just want a little bit of char for flavor. Grill onions for 7 to 10 minutes until grill marks appear and onion starts to turn opaque.
Chop up ⅓ of the grilled onion and mix all couscous ingredients together. Serve hot or cold with the yaji. Squeeze a lime wedge over the yaji, sprinkle with remaining Suya and enjoy
Reuben Rolls with Homemade 1000 Island Dipping Sauce
by Carly Cerniglia
For the rolls:
½ lb. corned beef, shaved and chopped
½ 16 oz. can sauerkraut, drained
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
½ pack egg roll wraps
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
For the sauce:
1 cup light mayonnaise
Small squirt of yellow mustard
¼ cup ketchup
3 T sweet pickle relish
1 T finely chopped white onion
Dash smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
A few shakes of hot sauce
Mix sauce ingredients. Thin with a bit of pickle juice, water, or milk if you want a thinner dipping consistency. Set aside.
Place an egg roll wrap turned to resemble a diamond in front of you. Mix the chopped corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese in a small bowl. Place a small amount of the mixture in the lower middle of the wrap, spreading out evenly, about ½ to 1 inch away from the left and right corners. Fold the bottom corner up around the filling. Fold the left and right corners inward, enveloping the filling. Roll up, wetting the top corner with a bit of water and your finger. Continue rolling upward to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients. (I filled about 10 egg roll wraps with this recipe.)
Heat about 1 to 2 inches of oil in a deep pot (mine used 1to 2 cups) to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Carefully place a few rolls in the oil, being careful not to overcrowd them. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip the rolls. Continue cooking until golden brown. Transfer to a pan with a wire rack to drip dry. Repeat the process with the remaining rolls. Serve warm with sauce.