Garlic Scape Pesto

What’s new lately?  It’s been a while.

We’re gearing up for the summer months, which means much travel and family time for me.  This year, we’re heading up to Bar Harbor for a week prior to my cousin’s wedding.  After that, a week in Wildwood, New Jersey, building sand castles and visiting family.  And finally, at the end of the summer, my sister is getting married!!

Also part of the summer months, enjoying all the great things from our garden!  This year, we planted sugar peas, which are ready to be picked, Romaine lettuce, sprinach, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, dill, basil, parsley, and my chives have returned from last year.  As you know, we’re a big veggie eating family, so to supplement, we’ve joined a CSA through Frost Arrow Farm.  I’ve always wanted to join a CSA, but this is the first year doing so.  We’re only in the second week, but I’ve had fun researching and creating meals based on what’s in the box.

garlic scapePhoto Credit:  agardenforthehouse.com

This week’s mysterious visitor was garlic scapes.  Garlic scapes are the part of the garlic plant that you see above the ground.  It’s long and twisty and green.   If you’ve never seen a garlic scape, think Medusa’s hair.  I had fun chasing my boys around the kitchen yelling, “the snakes got me!  Help!”  They just thought I was weird and walked away.  Oh, well.  I’ll be trying a few different recipes with my scapes, but my first use was Garlic Scape Pesto over tortellini.  I have to say, while my breath could kill an army, it turned out really good.  This is definitely not first date fare, but if you are at your local farmer’s market in the next few weeks, and happen to see some scapes, they’re worth trying.

IMG_2744

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 bunch of garlic scapes, cut in two inch pieces.

1 C of parmesan cheese, or more depending on taste

1 C of olive oil

1/2 C walnuts

1 TB lemon juice

black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Mac and Cheese: Two Ways

So, let’s talk about Thanksgiving.  Why, when Halloween hasn’t even arrived?  Well, for two reasons:

1.  I live for Thanksgiving.

2.  If Target, Walmart, and the other major chains have bypassed it, and headed straight into Christmas, then it deserves a bit of respect and recognition.

Today’s subject:  Favorite Holiday Side Dish

Here it is, hands down:

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

So cheesy, so gooey, so true to its name.

When you’re eating turkey covered in gravy, with a side of mashed potatoes oozing with butter, why not add mac and cheese to the mix?

And what is the best part of mac and cheese?  The leftovers!

Is there anything more American than Fried Mac and Cheese?

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.

Martha’s Perfect Mac and Cheese

Serves 12

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to l/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyère or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère (or 1 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano), and the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes (though we needed a bit more time to get it brown, but your oven may vary). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.

 

Alton Brown’s Next Day Mac and Cheese Toasts

 

  • Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees

 

Directions

 

Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.

Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.