Sunday, October 10, 2010

Impromptu Dinner Party

Me: What should we do tonight?
B: I dunno, what do you want to do?
Me: I dunno, what do you want to do?
B: I dunno.
Me: Well I don't know either.  Give me some ideas. 

Somehow this convo lead to me and B deciding to have people over for an impromptu dinner party.  Our two guests confirmed at 5 that they would be over at 7 so we headed off to the store to pick out food.   When I saw that salmon was on sale at the Harris Teeter, I went ahead a put B in charge of the main dish.  He made me this salmon on like our 4th date and it's his signature dish (really his only dish).  Then I decided I wanted to try this "healthy" mac and cheese recipe that I found online.  So we gathered up our ingredients and some dip for appetizers and of course some wine and headed home.

B's signature salmon dish is actually a Rachael Ray recipe (Oven Poached Salmon with Dill, Onion and Cucumber Relish).  From what I can tell, it's pretty easy and pretty much always ends up being good.  Here is the recipe.  Since I've never made it myself I am assuming he just follows the recipe.  The cucumber, onion, radish relish actually makes the recipe in my opinion.  Everyone liked it last night.

The mac and cheese recipe I found was from Ellie Krieger.  The thing that makes it healthy is the addition of winter squash in to the cheese mixture.

Macaroni and 4 Cheeses (adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe,  I made a couple of small changes)

Cooking spray
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
2 cups skim milk
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered mustard
2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil
another 1/2 cup of Cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese

-cook the pasta
-cook the milk and frozen squash in a separate pan
-mix all that together with the cheese, salt, pepper, and mustard
-grease the 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and then pour the pasta mixture into dish
-top with a mixture of the Parmesan, bread crumbs and olive oil
-cook for 20 minutes
-add the rest of the cheese to the top and cook for about 5 more minutes on a higher heat to brown the top

I just added more cheese at the end because I thought it tasted a little too squashy.  It was pretty good.  I think everyone liked it and it has to be a little healthier than the traditional kind of macaroni and cheese.  I thought it could use a little more flavor but I'm not sure what I would put in it.  B said he liked it how it was.

So that was my impromptu dinner party.
Did you do anything fun this weekend?
Is it wrong to sneak vegetables into a classic like Mac and Cheese?

PS-Happy 10/10/10 everyone!


$hanzie said...

the entire meal was delicious! thank you for inviting me over. i feel like a slacker because i rarely invite people over for dinner even though i love to cook. let me know when you want to make the trek out to HP and i will whip up something amazing.... or at least decent. Also, i have some salmon in my freezer and plan on making that maple salmon recipe thing we were talking about on Sat. I will let you know how it goes.

KKSC2NC said...

WOW both these recipes looked wonderful! I personally love the idea of sneaking veggies in. Thanks for sharing!!!

Salt said...

Sounds like fun and everything looks delish!
We have that same dining room table!

Mo Young said...

Sounds like a nice lil' Sunday night. And it is completely right to sneak veggies into yummy (but not so healthy) foods. I think I was upset with my mom when I was little for doing this ... but now I try to do it! It helps with any guilt factor - plus veggies are good.

Jenni said...

That mac and cheese looks really yummy! You should submit some of those pics to food gawker.

Bonnie said...

I had fun this weekend... at the impromptu dinner party that is! Fish was tasty

MariahSmile said...

the pics of both dishes looked amazing! two of my favorite things!