Friday, September 23, 2011

365: No Repeats: Mac-n-Cheddar with Broccoli, and Turkey Cutlet Parmigiano, etc.

I cooked Mac-n-Cheddar with Broccoli (pg 4) for dinner last night because I was certain that Charlie would eat it. I was wrong, but it seemed like a sure thing. He likes cheese. He likes pasta. He likes broccoli. He approached this meal with the same sneer that Matt did. It was odd to see on a 1.5 year old. With each lick of the pasta, Charlie looked a little happier, until finally, he seemed to actually be enjoying it. He only ate four pieces of pasta, though, so I don't think that counts.
I asked Matt how he liked it. He shrugged and said "It's mac and cheese." I said, "Yeah, but it's pretty good, right?" He said, "It's not like it's exactly hard to make mac and cheese taste good." Then he asked where the meat was. (He was teasing).

I'd like to note that he went back for seconds. For my part, I thought this was a fine version of mac and cheese. It was more of a cheesy sauce poured onto pasta than a baked type of dish, but it was good. Creamy, some mustard, chili powder, and paprika for kick. Tasted good to me.

This took 38 minutes to cook. Not too far off.

Conclusion: Liked it, even if no one else did. Best mac and cheese ever? No, but it's a perfectly respectable version.

Tonight, I made Turkey Cutlet Parmigiano with Warm, Fresh Grape Tomato Topping, Pesto, and Mozzarella (pg 51). The cutlet preparation was pretty standard: coat in flour, dip in egg, coat in a mixture of breadcrumbs, a load of parmigiano-reggiano (that's another thing I hate to hear her say on tv), and chopped parsley, then cook until it's all golden and crunchy in olive oil.

The thing that I thought made this better--a lot better--than my normal chicken parmesan is the tomato topping. Instead of just using sauce, like I usually do, this has you cook an onion, then add grape tomatoes and white wine and cook it down until the wine has reduced and the tomatoes pop.

There was a smear of pesto on there, too. She says to use store-bought, but I made some myself before I started the clock.
I didn't really notice the pesto, so I wouldn't go out of my way to include it in the future. I lo-o-oved that tomato topping, and using all that cheese in the breading, though. It beats a jar of sauce any day.

Matt thought the breading was missing something. Couldn't say what. I think he's full of it, because apart from adding more cheese than I usually do, and using turkey instead of chicken, this was exactly how I always make breadbrumbed chicken. This is going to be a tough month, in that I expect Matt to be unpleasable. Sigh.

This took me 48 minutes to cook.

Conclusion: I loved it. Again, I note that Matt ate seconds, despite dismissing it. Charlie wanted nothing to do with it. Nothing can compare with the new super-nutritious love of his life: Ritz crackers.


  1. Ah - this is going to be a fun one for you isn't it?
    When my one daughter (now 16) was "wee", it was Keebler Club crackers for her...

  2. It's cute how your son is somewhat liking the dishes in his own special way. =D

  3. That turkey cutlet recipe is very close to how I have been tweaking both turkey cutlet and chicken "parm" lately. One thing I will say is that altho grape tomatoes are good,they have so little juice that I usually mix them with chopped roma tomatoes if they are going to be any kind of base for a sauce. I also really like parsley pesto for much of my cooking these days , more than basil pesto, esp. in this kind of a dish. I make it very similarly to a basil pesto, but I use a mix of almonds and walnuts to replace the pignoli, and I add breadcrumbs. I find it keeps longer in the fridge than basil, and retains a cleaner flavor that I personally prefer. It is a terrific condiment and addition to all seafood, and rounds out almost any mediterranean style pan sauce, and it adds a ton of flavor to breaded chicken, with either a stock/wine /lemon sauce , or else baked with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and cheese. Also consider adding sauteed mushrooms, diced carrots, celery, peppers, onions, and shallots- and classic fried eggplant for a real feast.

  4. The mac and cheese looks great, and love that tomato topping for the cutlet. It was funny to read your banter with Matt (husband, I'm guessing?) regarding the meals, it sounds so familiar! I have a picky one as well :)