February 10, 2010

Eatin Good in the Neighborhood

Matt and I met in January of 2008 and in March of that year we went on a group ski trip together. It was our first "weekend away" together and such a fun time in our relationship. At first I didn't think I would ever get off of the bunny slope, but I finally got comfortable on the intermediate slopes once it was time to go home. Matt didn't even bother trying to work on his skills, he just fell over whenever he needed to stop or go around a bend. It was so funny seeing him gain a little speed, go a few feet, then crash! Gain a little speed, go a few feet, crash! I had such a hard time getting up once I did fall down that that method would never have worked for me. At one point we took the wrong ski lift and ended up higher than we had hoped and on slopes that were much steeper than I was prepared for. Our dear friend Francis, who is amazing at skiing, led me down the whole way by skiing backwards right in front of me. I couldn't go too fast or fall forward, because he was right there. How awesome. Matt used his "special" technique to follow us down, haha. On the way home we stopped at Applebees and had their pepper jack mac and cheese. Hello, this was amazing! I've been thinking about it for two years and have decided it's time to make it myself.

Pepper-Jack Mac with Chicken and Broccoli
2 cups penne
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (I grated a whole chunk instead of buying it pre-shredded in the baggies because I think the flavor is better for this particular cheese)
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 chicken breasts, cubed
salt and pepper

Cook pasta 4 minutes less than the box directions. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Wisk in the flour until the mixture is smooth. Add milk a tiny bit at a time. If possible, warm the milk first, but this isn't necessary, just make sure you add it little by little and let the butter/flour mixture dissolve well each time. Once you've got a cup of milk added you can start adding the rest quicker. Let this simmer for a few minutes (stirring frequently) then add in the cheese, one cup at a time. Simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in pasta noodles and broccoli. Heat a small skillet over med-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, add the oil and the chicken. Stir frequently for 4 minutes. This should brown it up a little, but does not need to cook it all the way through. Add the chicken to the cheese mixture. Pour the whole thing into a 2 quart baking dish (these are usually square or round), and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. This was SO good.

No comments :

Post a Comment