My husband and I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday as a day spent with amazing food, a few friends and the big game. (mostly food for me…!) However, this year was a little bit different. Life has been slightly crazy, my husband has been working around the clock and Super Bowl Sunday was no exception. We decided that this year we’d hibernate in our house with some simple snacks and the game in the background, allowing B to continue his work day from home. Now, i’m not really a football fan (REALLY!?) But, I do enjoy the star studded commercials and the always interesting half time show. I decided this was a perfect opportunity to stock the freezer with some goodies. I’m not sure what possessed me to make 4 different entrees, spending a total of 7 hours in the kitchen…but I did, and the outcome was several tasty items to last us several weeks if not months. I’ll be posting the recipes throughout the next couple weeks.
So, what’s in the freezer now?
- Pesto Chicken Stuffed Jumbo Shells (Savory)
- Swiss Macaroni and Cheese (Comfort)
- Spinach Soup (So easy and healthy)
- Chicken with garlic & herb marinade and spring veggies (Super healthy and tasty!)
I’ve come across a few blogs with make ahead ideas, serving as the inspiration for all of my fix and freeze adventures. Now, Pinterest has caught on. And if Pinterest thinks it’s a good idea…it MUST be 🙂 Lots to learn I tell you…! But really, you can take any of your favorite recipes and tweak them to be freezer safe and oven friendly and I’ll show you how.
We love mac and cheese in this house…and we’re not picky about which kind…it’s a lovely comfort food I like to have on hand for those nights when you just want to curl up on the couch with a How I Met Your Mother marathon and a glass of wine (or beer for my hubby) and a big bowl of cheesy mac. The best part about mac and cheese is that you can literally take any type of cheese, create a sauce and smother your favorite pasta and call it a day. The recipe I’m posting is inspired by the Swiss cheese fondue recipe my mother makes…and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. The only issue with her recipe is the 3 types of cheeses you need to make it. Let’s call this the budget version. I’m scrapping the fancy Gruyere, Appenzeller and Emmentaler and sticking with the basic Swiss. I buy a Swiss cheese from Lunds by Minnesota Creamery and it melts like a dream and has great flavor. In my opinion, if you use the right spices and herbs, you can get away with downgrading your cheese selection. No need to break the bank on mac and cheese 🙂
Swiss Mac & Cheese
- 1.5 pounds shredded Swiss Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons of corn starch
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1.5 cups of dry white wine (I use a Pinot Grigio for this)
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- 1.5 Teaspoons of dry mustard
- 1 pound of shells or elbow macaroni
*You will also need 2 8×8 Ovenware containers.
- In a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Boil pasta for 3 minutes and remove from heat. You don’t want the pasta to be completely cooked. It will finish cooking in the oven. Spread the pasta onto a cookie sheet with sides to cool.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of corn starch to the shredded Swiss cheese and mix well. This prevents the cheese from clumping.
- In a large heavy bottomed (think Le Creuset) sauce pan, rub the bottom of the pan with the garlic clove. Add the white wine and lemon juice, and bring to a soft simmer.
- With a whisk, gradually add the cheese in small amounts, whisking until smooth. Continue until all the cheese is added and melted. Do not boil.
- Add in the fresh nutmeg and dry mustard. In a large bowl, combine the pasta and cheese sauce until well incorporated and divide between two 8×8 Ovenware or freezer/ovensafe containers and freeze.
- Defrost the mac and cheese in the microwave on low until defrosted, but not cooked. Preheat the oven to 375. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and melted.
- Top with breadcrumbs, chopped, cooked bacon or parsley. Enjoy!