Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Carrot Macaroni & Cheese

3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
Juice and zest from one orange (zest orange with vegetable peeler)
1/4 C water
1 C butternut squash puree (optional)
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. pinwheel pasta
1 C sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C milk

In a medium saucepan, combine carrots, zest juice and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Cook pasta according to box. Pre-heat oven to 350. Drain pasta and retain 1 C pasts water. Return pasta to pot. Remove zest and pour carrots and juice into blender. Add pasta water, butternut squash puree, pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add puree to pasta and combine over medium heat. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and milk until mixed well. Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray and transfer the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes.

(inspired by Carrot Macaroni and Cheese, by Food & Wine)

Butternut Squash Puree

Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings. Rub the insides with 2 tablespoons softened butter; season with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan, skin side down. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the squash from the oven, scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

1 loaf of French Bread, cut into 20 slices
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice

Spray 9 x13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Fill pan with two layers of french bread. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. Pour over french bread. Cover and place in fridge for 2 hours. Pre-heat oven to 400. Remove from fridge and cover with topping. Bake for 50 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

1/2 C butter, melted
1 C brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

(inspired by Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup, by Paula Dean)