Macaroni and Cheese and Jollof Rice


Episode 75



Jollof Rice

1/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil
(Optional) 4 chicken sausages with lamb castings removed*
1-3 lb. chicken, cut into 10 pieces, lightly seasoned with Harissa spice blend (found at specialty stores)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground caraway
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 medium or 1 large red onion
1 green pepper, diced
2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
10 tomatoes, chopped or 1-28 oz. canned Plum tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeño chilies, seeds and ribs discarded, finely diced
1-1/2 cup long-grain white Basmati rice
2-1/2 cup chicken stock
(Optional) 1/2 cup red wine
4 scallions, sliced thin; plus more for garnish
1-1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed or if using fresh, blanched
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

2. Drain pot of excessive butter/liquid, but leave 2 tbsp. of oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, spices and the cinnamon sticks. Stir for 30 seconds. Add green pepper, celery, jalapeño chilies, salt and pepper. Stir until vegetables soften. {Optional: Add the chicken sausage and cook until done}

3. Return chicken parts back to the pot. Add bay leaves, tomatoes, rice, chicken stock and wine (optional). Cover and adjust heat to a simmer.

4. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the peas and the scallions. Adjust seasoning.

5. Garnish with more scallions and enjoy.

*Note: If the casing is pork or the sausage size is large, use 2 chicken sausages.


Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Bread Crumb Topping:
6 slices white or wheat hearty sandwich bread, torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 6 pieces
Pasta and Cheese:
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon table salt
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons powdered mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
5 cups milk, lowfat, skim or whole
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 teaspoon table salt

For the bread crumbs, pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs and butter are well combined and crumbs are fine. Set aside.

For the pasta and cheese, bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender, about 1 minute past the al dente stage. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.
Adjust a rack in the oven to middle or lower-middle position and preheat the broiler.
In now-empty Dutch oven or pot, heat butter over medium heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in cheeses, a handful at a time, and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9-by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Watch carefully so the crumbs don’t burn! Cool about 5 minutes. Serve.