Garbage Dip

I threw a birthday party for myself and one of the things I served was a hot cheesy dip. This dip is great with tortilla chips and terrific over pasta or on a baked potato. Plus, the broccoli makes it almost healthy!

Garbage Dip

cheesy dip2 lb box velveeta cheese, cubed
2 8 oz boxes cream cheese, cubed
2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes and peppers
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
24 oz bag chopped broccoli

Dump all of the above in a slow cooker to let it melt and blend together. Serve with chips.

I replace the breakfast sausage with ground venison but feel free to use the sausage or any other ground meat. Just brown it first and drain it well.

Here is a picture of it served over pasta. Yum!

pasta

This does get warmer after you’ve reheated it a couple times. I buy an extra 1lb block of velveeta and add half of after the first reheating and the next after the third.

Advertisements

Breesy Cheesy Bambi Mac

As any self-respecting member of the Who Dat Nation knows, Drew Brees gets his super powers from eating macaroni and cheese before a game. I’m sure he was able to make this dive into the end zone on Monday Night because he followed his well known pre-game carb loading routine.

He led the Saints to a 49-24 win over the New York Giants, so there must be something to it!

While I won’t directly compete with the Breesy Beefy Mac put out by the Ritz-Carlton’s M Bistro’s Emily Dillport, I do put my version of Breesy Cheesy Bambi Mac forward for your consideration. If you don’t happen to have ground venison, substitute ground beef or turkey. Or, leave out the meat entirely!

Breesy Cheesy Bambi Mac

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 

1 lb ground venison
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1 yellow onion, finely chopped 

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard 

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning 

2 1/2 cups milk 

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 

1 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 cup bread crumbs lightly buttered and toasted

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Brown venison; drain off fat and set aside

In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and cook onion until softened, about four minutes. Add remaining butter. When melted, add flour forming a roux. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly, to remove the flour taste. Do not allow roux to darken. Stir in Cajun seasoning and mustard. Gradually stir in milk until blended. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about five minutes. Add cheese in handfuls and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Combine mixture with venison and macaroni in a large buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs over casserole and cook at 350° F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
 Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

5 Fifty 5

Back in the bad ole days, restaurants located in hotels (even high end hotels) were less than stellar. While they might have an excellent selection at the bar, the food was never up to the sort of standards that a stand alone restaurant with a top notch chef could bring. Wonderfully, those days are far, far behind us now.

In the Marriott hotel on Canal is 5 Fifty 5 which is casual dinning and comfort food. Well, I don’t recall my Mom ever putting lobster in her Mac and Cheese but, now that I’ve tasted Executive Chef Mark Quitney’s version, I sure wish she had! My dining companion had the winter greens salad with shredded chicken and ginger/orange vinaigrette which she claimed was delicious and I have to take her word for it.

The service was fast and unobtrusive. Food came quickly and the iced tea was replenished regularly. We arrived at 1pm for lunch and, even though the place closed at 2:00, they let us keep the table so we could finish conducting our business (we were there alone until almost 3pm).

Meauxbar Bistro

I went out with a group of friends today for Dining Out for Life. This year had 67 restaurants in the Greater New Orleans area that donated 25% of the day’s proceeds to the NO/AIDS Taskforce.

We went to Meauxbar Bistro and it was a very good choice. A small place with an incredibly diverse menu. I had the gazpacho to start and it was one of the best I’ve ever had–perfectly seasoned and a lovely consistency. I followed that up with their version of Mac and Cheese–Gruyere cheese, truffle oil and a major yum. I exchanged bites of mine with my friends to enjoy the Drum cooked in parchment with curry and coconut milk and the rabbit fricassee. Both were very good with well balanced flavors. I ended the meal with their lemon tart and it was refreshing and delicious.

I definitely would recommend a trip to this bistro. The waitstaff was well informed and attentive, the cocktails were generous, the menu was diverse and the food marvelous.