Tag Archives: Macaroni and Cheese

Fried Chicken: A Valentine’s Gift to Myself

Valentine’s Day is kind of a crock, right?

Listen. That’s not some jaded/single/lonely perspective.

Though I am single. And truthfully, a little lonely. (Moving is hard.) But I’m not jaded.

I love love (particularly more than LP or Stowe will ever love love). But Valentine’s Day is a bit of a crock. Why celebrate your love on just one day? Is your love so wimpy that it can be contained to just one day?

And as someone on the internet said, in elementary school, the whole class was your Valentine. Why limit yourself to just one Valentine?

I’m a huge fan of the Galentine’s Day, made popular by my fictional best friend, Leslie Knope. A date with your best gal pals. Nothing bad about that!

Only the best day of the year!

Only the best day of the year!

But because moving is hard, I’m flying solo this Valentine’s Day.

I saw this Bon Appetit article yesterday on what their staff is cooking this Valentine’s Day. I’ll be honest, they all sound delicious. Fancy steak? Manhattans? Mac and Cheese? Macaroni and cheese is my spirit animal.

But this Valentine’s Day, I’m going to practice a little bit of self-love.

Ew. Not like that, sickos.

I’m going to make something that I love. Something special. A gift to myself.

My most favorite food in the whole world is fried chicken. So, fry chicken I will. I’ve only ever done it once and it was only ok. But if at first you don’t succeed, try try again, right?

I’ve got a few days to find the right recipe and the right accompaniments. Off the top of my head: mac and cheese, biscuits with honey butter, green beans. Accompanied by some bourbon. And some sort of dessert. But that’s just off the top of my head. Or whatever.

Valentine’s Day might be a crock but I’m down to celebrate love and fried chicken. I’ll happily share the love. But I’m not going to share the fried chicken.

As they always say, all is fair in love and chicken.

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Happy Easter! Southern Recipes for 4 Days ago or 361 Days from Now!

Happy Easter, y’all.

Wait, what? It’s not Easter? Well, just like Jesus, this blog post done rose up three days late.*

*I am, in fact, four days late in writing this blog post.

This Easter was great. My Dad came up to visit. Mom stayed home with some other family who was in town. Dad and I had lots of fun with no one to boss us. (“No one to boss us” is what my Dad and I used to say when Mom was at the store or something and we were free to be silly.)

We watched Season 5 of The Wire. Fucking Kennard, right?

We watched Season 2 of Justified. Margo Martindale’s Emmy was Justified, amiright?

We dyed Easter eggs. Adorable!

Egg Dyeing

We also replaced my tires after someone LITERALLY slashed two of them. I am not joking. This actually happened. Someone stabbed two of my tires in the parking lot of my apartment complex. It seemed random…unless I’ve been sleep walking-and-robbing again.

Anyways. On Easter Sunday, I made a big ole Southern Easter lunch to be served at 2 pm. As Southern holiday lunches are.

The menu was as follows:

  • Mom’s Green Beans
  • Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese
  • 10 lbs. of Ham for 2 people 

It was pretty traditional and it was really good. There are some holidays where you want to experiment with things (who really needs the same cranberry sauce recipe each Thanksgiving?) But for Easter, I say tradition wins the day. That’s why I’m 28 and still dyeing Easter eggs with my Dad.

HASHTAG NO ONE TO BOSS US

Easter Sunday

Ham Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 spiral cut ham

Drive to The Fresh Market. Buy a 10 pound ham for 2 people. Follow the directions on the packaging. Carve up the ham by following the ham directions. Eat all the ham. Make ham sandwiches. Freeze all the leftovers.

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Mom’s Green Beans

Ingredients

  • Green beans, about 1 lb.
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • Chicken broth, enough to cover/about 2 quarts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic cloves, smashed (optional)

Wash and trim ends off the green beans. If you are in movie musical, you will snap the ends off the green beans on the front porch singing Gary, Indiana. If you are not in a movie musical, you can just trim them in your kitchen.

Cut onion into large slices.

Put trimmed green beans, onion, and bacon into a pot. Cover with the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Mmhmm

Mmhmm

Keep on a low boil for about an hour or hour and a half until beans are tender and onions are translucent.

Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, Pea and Bacon topping to follow

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups warm milk | whole milk is best, you want the fat content when making your cheese sauce. MMHMM.
  • 5 ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps form forming. Gradually whisk in the milk and, whisking vigorously, cook until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 ½ cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Pea and Bacon Topping

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • leaves from ¼ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed in a colander under cool water

While the macaroni and cheese is baking, heat a 2 count of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the bacon, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Fold in the peas and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the pea and bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking pea mixture on each spoonful.

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