Wish Upon A Dish: Stovetop Mac 'n Cheese and a Tagine Marinade

March 31, 2011

Stovetop Mac 'n Cheese and a Tagine Marinade

I really wanted to make Moroccan Chicken Tagine but the recipe calls for marinading the chicken overnight.

Don't you just hate that?

Now I have to come up with something else for dinner. When in doubt always go with pasta.

I will list the ingredients for the marinade at the end of this post, so that you don't do what I did.

I took a mental health day yesterday and ate PB&J crackers and yogurt. Yes, I vegged out....I think I came downstairs to let the kitties in every once in a blue moon but other than that I spent a wonderful day in bed.

I have some cheese I need to use, so after watching Lobster Mac 'N Cheese Throwdown yesterday, I actually got a hankering for something ooey gooey.

I like that mascarpone was used in the basic Mornay and I do believe I have about 1 cup in a container in my fridge. I have 3 slices of pancetta I can use for flavoring and a head of cauliflower that just cries out to be cooked in a creamy cheese sauce.

I do not like to make an "empty" meal. I need at least a vegetable and since I didn't buy any blue cheese or tomatoes a salad is out of the question.

Set a pot of salted water to boil. I like shells and The Nudge always picks elbows so I compromise with campanelle.

In a medium saucepan, I sauteed 3 slices of chopped pancetta, 1 small shallot and 1 clove of thinly sliced garlic in a little olive oil until crisp on the edges.

I added a tablespoon of butter to the pan, and 2-3 tablespoons of flour to start the roux.

Add about 1 cup of cold milk and whisk until smooth and thick. Add a large dollop of mascarpone (if you have cream cheese, add that) and whisk until smooth and melted. Salt, pepper, nutmeg, a few dashes of Frank's Hot Sauce and I add a teaspoon of Colemans dry mustard.


In the boiling water, add the capannelle and set the timer for 5 minutes. Cut a few florets from the cauliflower and when the timer goes off, add them to the boiling water and cook for 4 more minutes. Drain and set aside.


Add the grated cheeses (I choose a white cheddar, a fontina and a handful of parmigianna). Stir until melted, add the pasta and cauliflower, stir to combine and adjust seasonings. I diced up a roasted red pepper (for color and Vitamin C) and added a handful of peas. If it is too thick add some of the pasta water or more milk and serve immediately. I made a topping of buttered panko with garlic salt, parsley, and grated cheese to spoon on top for texture. It really made a difference.

If you want to make this ahead of time, pour it into a buttered casserole pan, top with some breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese, dollop some butter on top and place in an oven to bake until the sides are bubbling and lava hot!!

Tomorrow is Chicken Tagine with my homemade preserved lemons.
So you won't forget to marinade your chicken overnight, here is the marinade:

Chicken Marinade
Prepare this 24 hours in advance.
* 8 pieces of dark meat chicken, personal choice
* 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 grated onion
* 2 tablespoons lite olive oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil
* pulp from 1 preserved lemon

I would heat the dried spices in a small saucepan until fragrant.
Immediately add them to the garlic, onions, lemon pulp and oil. Add in the salt & pepper. Pour mixture into a large zip bag along with chicken pieces and place in fridge overnight.

Tomorrow we make Tagine.

2 comments :

Oil painting for beginners said...

This is such a great site! I like the way you set this up! Great content and images as well! Thanks for sharing this! Looks delicious...Daniel

The Healthy Gourmet........................ said...

Thank you. I tried to make the colors easy on the eye.