I am one of those people that eyeball things that sound odd or off putting to me. For instance, pumpkin spice might be good in my coffee (I honestly wouldn't know) but it would not be good, at least in my mind, in my chocolate pudding or some such. When I first heard about Mac n Cheese soup, there was a big part of me that was turning my nose up, and the kid in me who liked her Kraft to be soupy even though that was not how it was supposed to be made was all like, hell yes!
So I thought about it, and I decided I would give it a try. I wanted it with more stretch, however, so I got the idea to add some burger into the mix because, why not? People make chilli-mac and cheese burger mac, why not go ahead and put some burger into my soup? So I did, and I made the right call. The soup was very delicious, and my husband liked it so much that he ate three bowls. That is a compliment because he's such a picky eater.
I had the urge to throw some broccoli in because, hello, broccoli and cheese soup... But I resisted, and that was also the right call. I wouldn't eat broccoli with a hamburger, so why would I put it in a soup based off of such? I would, however, eat it with some sauteed green peppers, so that is what I did instead.
As usual, I looked around the internet for recipes, saw a bunch, and then decided just to do my own spin which I am sharing with you. Just like in all recipes that I post, I think about the flavor profile... What can I do to make it better? For instance, I didn't really look for a Mac n Cheeseburger soup, just mac n cheese soup. I threw the burger in because I thought it would stretch it along and make it taste good. I was right.
Here is my take!
I apologize for the lack of visuals, but I hadn't actually planned to blog this one. I wanted to try it before anything, and seeing as it was delicious... Well, here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
Flank steak is something I rarely get to work with due to the cost. It's a really delicious cut of meat, but it can be more than $7/lb, which is more than I can afford. I was lucky enough to get a hold of a 2 lb slab of it for free, which made me very excited and delighted; I had not tasted flank steak since I was a culinary student. I remember it well, that first taste... It was the first time I tasted what a rare steak was like, and it changed my thoughts about steak in general. This was one of several things that helped to shape my pallet into what it is today.
I wasn't sure what to do with it at first, considering the many possibilities you are presented with this particular cut... I could have done Philly Cheesesteaks, or Fajitas, so many things would have worked ut I chose to do something I just came up with.
I took the steak and cut it into two across the grain, thinking I could make one more done than the other. I ended up with both of them being a little too rare even though I had cooked them on the highest temperature I could with the indoor grill (which I am sure I am ready to do a review on soon) and I do not know if if was hot enough or if I simply didn't leave it on long enough (I flipped in ten minutes). It still tasted pretty good when paired with the pasta and ala minute.
This turned out to be super flavorful. The sauce was light and just the right amount for the pasta, and the steak was juicy. They definitely complemented each other very well and I only wished that I had some fresh parmesan cheese to shred over the top, I think it would have taken it to perfection, as would adding just a tiny bit of tomato sauce to make it slightly more robust.
I hope you enjoy this brainchild of mine... Feel free to use a cheaper cut of steak, I know how it goes!
Good eating, foodies
I am not Italian. I was born with mostly Germanic blood, a handful of Irish, and a smidgen of Sioux, but not Italian. If I could claim to have such a rich heritage I would, but alas, not I. I’m saying this because I love to cook pasta more than anything in this world, particularly Spaghetti. I dare not call my sauce “traditional,” though- oh no! That would be blaspheme… I do try to stay as close as possible, but my ragu is not your Nana’s.
This is one of my older recipes from the old site, but it is still a favorite of mine. I want to start off by saying that this is MY take, and is not authentic, Italian Ragu or Marinara. Before I get to the recipe, though, I would like to share the story about my sauce with you.
I had stated in the post prior to this one, that my mother taught me basics like spaghetti... The sauce wasn't ever home made, however, it was from a jar or a can because nobody in the household knew how to make home made spaghetti sauce. I didn't care that it was from a jar, though, because it wasn't about that for me. I was spending time with my mom and she was teaching me something.
Once I went to culinary school, I learned how to make a bunch of things like spaghetti (noodles and all) from scratch, and oh man... If you have never experienced the texture of a home made spaghetti noodle and the sumptuous feel of sauce that you made from fresh ingredients? You, my friends, are missing out.
When I got home from school, the first thing I wanted to do for my mom was to make her as close to that as I could get. Since I didn't have all of the tools, like a food mill or a pasta maker, I had to meet childhood and adulthood spaghetti somewhere in the middle. It is not from scratch, but it is mostly home made.
Now my mom can't stand eating it if it is in a jar... It was pretty cool knowing that I taught my mom how to elevate something SHE taught me how to cook!
In a large skillet or a dutch oven (On Medium-High):
Saute the meat with the onions, the peppers, and half of the amount of seasoning you want to use.
Once the meat is browned and the vegetables are soft:
Drain any excess grease, making sure to leave some for flavor, and drop in your tomato paste.
When the tomato paste starts to smell sweet:
Add your remaining ingredients, being sure to adjust seasoning.
Cover the pot/skillet and turn down to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add some of your pasta water to marry the sauce to the pasta.
When the sauce is ready, toss some into your pasta as you would dress a salad, as this keeps the noodles from clumping. Then top with more of the sauce, as much or little as you like.
I hope you have enjoyed this recipe with me, and please do share it with others as I have shared with you, my foodie friends.
This is and will always be one of my favorite things to eat because it brings me back to a simpler time in life and being able to spend time with my mom in the kitchen.
This is from my table to yours.
Please feel free to leave a question or comment for me, and I will do my best to give you an answer.
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.