quick baked mac and cheese with caramelized onions

So I had this whole vision of baking little lasagnas in these baby pumpkins that I bought at the farmers market. I’d invited friends over for the experiment and was very excited to bump the cute factor of my cooking up by about a million. And then my rational, forward thinking boyfriend mentioned that the adorable pumpkins that I had purchased might not actually be for eating. The doubt began to set in. I tested the pumpkin by cooking a small slice and it was indeed edible, just not that good. I was very sad. My dreams of festive cuteness were crushed.

I think Jordan may have felt a little bad and so he dug up these mini baking dishes that his mom had given us as a housewarming gift and suggested a baked macaroni and cheese instead. It was good advice. I simplified a traditional baked macaroni nixing the béchamel in favor of ricotta and a little pasta water. I added some caramelized onions, topped with gruyere and then threw it under the broiler. Quick, easy and still adorable!

Baked Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions
For the caramelized onions
1 onion, sliced
1 T butter
1 T oil

Saute onions over low heat for 30 – 45 minutes stirring occasionally, until deep brown in color.

For the pasta
3/4 lb dried pasta
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup gruyere, grated
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt, pepper

Start sautéing the onion. Put a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. Combine pasta, ricotta, parmesan and pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. In a baking dish, spread the caramelized onions into a thin layer on the bottom. Spoon in cheesy pasta. Top with gruyere and breadcrumbs. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!



pork on pork action

Oh yeah.  Even though it was Mother’s Day, Emily and I couldn’t help it.  Things got naughty and juicy.  You know what I’m talking about: bacon wrapped pork loin.  A dish so simple and so porky that you’ll lose all track of time basking in its glory.  Seriously though, this is such an easy dish and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser; in other words, it’s perfect for entertaining.

1 3-4 pound pork loin
8 strips of good bacon
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Season your pork loin with salt and pepper and wrap with bacon.  I put the bacon on a flat surface and overlapped each piece by about a quarter of an inch.  Then I rolled the pork loin like a burrito.  Place it in a roasting pan for about an hour and start checking its internal temperature.  You’re looking for 145 degrees in the thickest part.  Ours took about 1.5 hours, but it was a little overcooked on the thinner side.



Don’t forget to let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into it!

A wonderful, simple main course that tastes like it’s much more complicated than it really is.  As long as it’s not overcooked and the bacon gets nice and crispy, everyone will be happy.  Also, this dish can be adjusted very easily depending on the number of people you’re serving.  I wouldn’t go below two pounds for a small crowd (4-5 people), but you could double or triple this recipe if just a few pounds won’t satisfy that porky desire. Leftovers make great sandwiches too!