Stealing Recipes

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I’ve tried my hand at “stealing” a few recipes from restaurants. I started with something simple a few years ago, mango quesadillas from Agua Verde. Later I stumbled upon Penne alla Sorrentina from my family’s favorite restaurant, Vince’s. It’s fun, kinda like a puzzle, to try and recreate your favorite dishes.

Tonight, on a whim, I tried to recreate the macaroni and cheese from Kingfish Cafe. I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand, and my casserole isn’t as deep as theirs, but I was still happy with the results. Perhaps I’ll have to go back there and do some more “research” to find out what the two cheeses they use are. I already have some ideas to expand on the recipe and make it my own. Maybe later this summer I will try my hand at their fried green tomatoes?

2 cups dry macaroni (8oz)
1 1/2 cups fresh coarse breadcrumbs
4 tbsp butter
1/2 large red bell pepper, finely diced (or 1 small)
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp or medium cheddar (about 10oz)

Preheat oven to 375. Boil pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter and toss with breadcrumbs, set aside.

In a large saucepan melt the remaining 3 tbsp butter over medium heat. Saute the onions and peppers until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add the salt and cayenne pepper.

Whisk in flour and continue whisking for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in the cheese until melted. Stir in the pasta until well coated and then pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole. Top with buttered bread crumbs and bake for 20-30 minutes or until it is golden brown and bubbly. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

boxofbirds

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One Response to “Stealing Recipes”

  1. Jaq Says:

    I love doing this. Generally though, my ending riff is a definite permutation on the original. My recipe for greek potatoes started as a potato skin appetizer from a now-defunct Phoenix restaurant:
    lemon juice
    extra virgin olive oil
    salt
    coarsely ground black pepper
    boiled and coarsely chopped redskin potatoes
    diced feta cheese
    chopped green salad olives

    Whisk the oil into the lemon juice until you have a nice emulsion. Stir in some black pepper and a little salt. Mix with the potatoes, cheese, and olives. Serve warm, cold, or bake in a casserole and serve hot. I like it best warm. If you’ve got some fresh oregano or thyme or mint, they make nice additions. You can also top with kefalotere or kasseri cheese if you’re baking to serve hot.

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