Tag Archives: cheddar cheese

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad

The umami and warmth of the mushrooms plays nicely with the richness of the cheddar and the peppery bite of the arugula.

This dish was inspired by a meal Jake had at the restaurant Fore Street in Portland, ME. Their version used black trumpet mushrooms and clothbound cheddar, which we didn’t have access to, but we think we’ve done it justice. For a meatless salad that eats like a meal look no further.

Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels, Sieve or Salad Spinner, Small Mixing Bowl, Fork

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Malbec 

Suggested Beer Pairing: Porter, Stout, Bitter Ale

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz arugula ($3.49/5 oz package)
  • 2 lbs. baby bella or crimini mushrooms ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 large shallot ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 6 oz porter cheddar (or any good aged cheddar) (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP & 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP whole grain mustard ($4.99/8oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • 4 TBSP balsamic vinegar, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Dressing Preparation:

  • In your small mixing bowl combine the mustard, 1/4 C of olive oil, 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar and your honey. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk everything vigorously with a fork. Give it a taste to adjust the flavors to your liking and set it aside.

Salad Preparation:

  • Peel your shallots and garlic. Cut the shallots into quarters, lengthwise, and then go on to slice each piece thinly. Crush and mince the garlic and combine the two in a small bowl.

Slice your shallots thinly so they cook down more easily.

  • Using a damp paper towel, wipe off your mushrooms and slice them thinly. Place the frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it’s shimmering add the mushrooms with a palmful of salt and pepper. Let them cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the garlic and shallots.
  • Pour in 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar and let everything cook down for another 10 minutes and take off the burner.
  • Wash and dry your arugula and put it in your serving bowl. Take the cheddar and cut it first into quarter inch thick slices and then into quarter inch cubes. Set aside separately from the arugula.

Cut your cheddar into tiny little cubes known as brunoise, a classic knife technique.

  • Place a frying pan over medium head and add a tablespoon of butter. Make sure to swirl it around the pan to coat the bottom. Add your walnut pieces and let them sit for about 4 minutes (make sure to check at 3 minutes; if they smell like they’re burning, they probably are).
  • Stir the walnuts and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Toast for another 4 minutes and remove from the heat.

Watch the walnuts carefully. Toasted = delicious. Burnt = not so much.

  • We suggest layering things as follows: Arugula, mushrooms, walnuts, and cheddar. Drizzle some dressing across the top of the whole lot and graze away.

Frito Pie

So wrong, yet so right.

We’ve been intrigued with this Southern delicacy ever since we first saw it on the menu at one of our favorite dive bars in Williamsburg. This meaty pile of semi-shameful indiscretion is as delicious as it is sounds, whether you’re under the influence or not. Resist the urge to overthink the chili and let a few simple ingredients do work. Just be forewarned, this may replace nachos as your favorite meat/cheese/corn chip combination.

Equipment Needed: 5 Qt Pot with Lid, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Can Opener, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: You’re eating Frito pie; you should just drink what you want

Suggested Beer Pairing: Whatever’s clever. (see: Eating Frito Pie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we recommend an 80/20 mix) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 large onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans ($1.19/15 oz can)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ($2.49/28 oz can)
  • 1 6 oz can can tomato paste ($0.99/6 oz can)
  • 1 TBSP cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 1 TBSP paprika ($3/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar ($8.99/32 oz))
  • 1 TSP sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 1 10.5 oz bag Frito corn chips ($3.29/10.5 oz bag)
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese ($8.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Finely dice your onion and mince your garlic. Wash your jalapeno thoroughly, halve it and remove the seeds and ribs (leave the seeds in if you want a spicier chili).

Finely dice the jalapeno so it melds easier in the chili.

  • Put the pot over medium heat and add your olive oil. Throw in the onions first and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stirring every minute or so, cook the onions for 5 minutes then add the garlic and jalapeno. Cook everything down for another 5 minutes and add in your beef.
  • Salt and pepper the beef, making sure to break it up with your spoon. Stir everything together so the veggies are mixed throughout the meat. Add in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper and give it another good stir. Cook the meat mixture until it’s lightly browned, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes or so).
  • Spoon in the tomato paste and pour in the crushed tomatoes. Add the liquid smoke, vinegar, sugar, a few healthy pinches of salt and a good dose of black pepper. Turn the heat to low and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.

Use diced or break up whole canned tomatoes if you want chunkier chili.

  • While your chili is bubbling away shred up the cheddar and set it aside in a bowl for later.
  • Drain the beans and stir them in to the mix. Taste everything and re-season as you see fit. Once the flavors are to your liking cook it down for another 10 minutes to finish it off.

We prefer black beans for this one but go nuts with your legume of preference.

  • Take a handful of Fritos and put them in a soup bowl or plate. Spoon a couple healthy heaps of chili over the top of them and sprinkle cheese over the whole lot.

Roasted Broccoli & Irish Cheddar Soup

A thick, rich and comforting bowl. Like a velour track suit for your tongue.

Broccoli and cheese soup is a pretty solid standby in our humble opinion but (to borrow from Swingers) it’s the PG-13 guy of the soup world; you’re really hoping it does the trick but if you want something exciting you want the rated R guy. Not sure if roasting the vegetables will make a difference? Poppycock. Apprehensive about the strength of the Irish cheddar’s brogue? Balderdash. Pumpernickel croutons? Nerts to you. Work with us here, people; you know the drill by now.

Equipment Needed: 2  Baking Sheets, 5 QT Pot, Immersion Blender or Food Processor, Wooden Spoon, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Dunkelwiess, Lager, Medium-bodied Ales

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs broccoli ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 QT chicken stock ($3.29/32 oz)
  • 1 PT heavy cream ($2.99/PT)
  • 2 medium onions ($0.99/lb)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/3 C flour ($1.89/2 lbs)
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 lb Irish cheddar cheese ($11.99/lb)
  • 1 loaf fresh pumpernickel bread (about $3/loaf)
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder ($2/2.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Crouton Preparation:

You can do this before, during or after you make your soup. It takes about 10 minutes so do whatever works best for you.

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Take your loaf of pumpernickel and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Throw them in a mixing bowl and toss them with a solid drizzle of olive oil, garlic powder and salt.

Be careful not to over-oil the bread or it won't crisp up nicely.

  • Spread the croutons out evenly on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about 5 minutes, then check to see if they’re crunchy. If not, five them another few minutes but be careful not to leave them in too long. Burnt croutons don’t party well with soup.

Soup Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Wash the broccoli and remove the majority of the stems. Cut them into medium-sized florets and put them on your baking sheets.

Keep the broccoli in decent sized pieces, smaller chunks tend to burn when you roast them.

  • Peel and quarter your onions and place them on the backing sheets along with your broccoli. Mince your garlic cloves and spread evenly over the veggies on both sheets. Drizzle a healthy dose of olive oil over the whole lot, sprinkle with salt and pepper and throw them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the veggies are nicely roasted.
  • While your broccoli is doing its thing, shred the cheese and set it aside for later.

If you can't find Irish cheddar, a nice English, Australian or just plain aged cheddar will do just fine.

  • Next it’s time to get started on your roux. Put the pot over low heat and add in the butter. Once it’s melted slowly stir in the flour a little at a time so it makes a paste then cook this until it’s a rich bronze color.  Pour in the cream and stir everything together. Bring the burner up to medium heat and stir relatively constantly if your veggies haven’t finished. You don’t want the cream to scald.

Use low heat and be patient with the roux; burnt flour doesn't help anything.

  • Once the veggies are done, throw them in the pot and add the chicken stock. Let everyone get friendly until the mixture comes to a boil. Once this happens remove it from the heat and get to work with your immersion blender (or food processor). You want to grind everything down to a consistent puree so don’t rush through this part.

Blend thoroughly. No one likes surprise chunks of stuff in an otherwise creamy soup.

  • Once you’ve got it to the consistency you want, put it back on the stove over low heat. Stir in the cheddar a small handful at a time until you’ve gotten through it all. Once the cheese has completely melted in dish it up and go to town. For bonus points drizzle a little walnut or truffle oil on top of each bowl.

Southwestern Turkey Mac & Cheese

If this doesn't make you wanna put on footie pajamas, grab a spoon and eat by the fire then maybe it's time you started seeing other blogs.

If you know anything about the Brothers Brown you know that we love three things in life: silk sheets, long walks on the beach, and mac & cheese. This one came to us in a vision and had nothing to do with the fact that we had about five pounds of ground turkey in the freezer. Chipotle and pepper jack keep your tongue tantalized while the tomatoes provide a sweet contrast.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Dutch Oven (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, 2 – 3 QT Pots (you only need one if you’re using a Dutch Oven), Wooden Spoon, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Colander

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Rioja, Carmenere, Oaked Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Dos Equis, Negro Modelo, Corona

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 lb  pasta shells (or conchiglie for all you Italians in the house) ($1.50/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 C milk (we kept it “healthy” and used skim) ($1.19/QT)
  • 1/3 C flour ($1.89/2 lbs)
  • 2 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese ($5.99/lb)
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese ($5.49/lb)
  • 3-6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ($2.99/can)
  • 1/2 C diced tomatoes ($1.99/14.5 oz can)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TSP ground oregano ($2/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Fill one of your pots about 3/4 full of water and put it over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and throw in about a palmful of salt. Add the pasta and a splash of olive oil, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the shells are soft. Drain the water and set the pasta aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, dice the onion and mince the chipotle peppers. We used 6 peppers and it came out with a pretty heavy kick to it so adjust the number according to how hot you want it. Put the frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onions with a healthy dash of salt and pepper and cook them down for about 5 minutes.

Dice things quicker by making thin vertical and horizontal cuts in the onion before slicing it crosswise.

  • Throw the turkey in the pan with some more pepper and stir occasionally, cooking until it’s lightly browned (about 8 minutes). Pour in the minced peppers with about a tablespoon of the adobo sauce, cumin and oregano. Stir everything well and drop the burner to low for another couple minutes so the flavors meld.
  • Put your Dutch oven (or other pot) over medium heat  and add the butter. Once it’s melted, add about 1/4C of flour and stir thoroughly to make a paste. Cook until the roux (pronounced “roo,” that’s what you just created) is golden brown—like a perfectly roasted marshmallow—and stir in the milk. Begin shredding in your cheese and stir continuously until it’s fully melted in. Add more cheese and stir until you’ve used all the cheddar and half of the pepper jack.

Err on the side of less flour so the roux stays smooth. You can always add more later to thicken it up.

  • Mix the meat, pasta and cheese sauce in whatever you’re baking it in (either your baking pan or Dutch oven). Drain the tomatoes as much as you can and add them a bit at a time trying to avoid including any extra liquid. Stir again to incorporate everything.

Use a fork or slotted spoon to add the tomatoes to make sure you're not adding extra liquid.

  • Spread the rest of the pepper jack over the top and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes until it’s browned and bubbling. If you can control yourself, let it cool a bit to set up before serving.

New England Clam Chowder with Cheesy Biscuits

Everything you could ever want in a bowl of creamy goodness.

Debating which type of clam chowder is better is but a fool’s errand since everyone knows that New England-style is the one chowder to rule them all. This hearty, creamy classic is easier to make than you would probably imagine and few things satisfy more when the mercury drops. Add the clams towards the end to prevent them from getting too chewy.

Equipment Needed: 8 QT Pot, Baking Sheet, Mixing Bowl, Cheese Grater, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon, Kitchen Shears, Vegetable Peeler, Rolling Pin, Cookie Cutter, Whisk, Parchment Paper

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Oaky Chardonnay, Rioja, Pinot Noir

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Porter, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chopped clams ($1.99/6.5 oz can)
  • 8 oz clam juice ($1.99/bottle)
  • 6 strips of bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 4 large potatoes ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 medium onions ($0.99/lb)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 can of sweet corn ($1.69/11 oz)
  • 1 QT 2% milk, divided ($1.19/QT)
  • 1 pint heavy cream ($2.99/pint)
  • 2 C Bisquick mix ($4.19/40 oz box)
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 TBSP crushed red pepper ($3.50/2.5 oz jar)
  • 2 TSP dried thyme ($3.50/1.5 oz jar)
  • 1/2 TBSP cayenne pepper ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 2 bay leaves ($3/0.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Biscuit Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Whisk together 2 cups of Bisquick and 2/3 of a cup of milk until you’ve got a soft dough with no pockets of mix or clumps.
  • Grate in 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheese and stir a bit more.

Grate the cheese in before you knead the dough for better cheddar distribution.

  • Spread about 3 tablespoons of Bisquick on your cutting board so the dough doesn’t stick.With your rolling pin, roll it out flat until it’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Use your cookie cutter to cut out biscuits and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you don’t have parchment paper, just grease the baking sheet thoroughly with butter.

Insert knead/need pun here.

  • Sprinkle a little bit of salt and crushed red pepper on the top of the biscuits. Pop those puppies in the oven and bake ‘em for about 9 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Set aside to cool and await their chowder-complementing fate.

Chowder Preparation:

  • You’ll want to do all of your prep work beforehand so all you have to do is add ingredients once you get the soup base going. Start by dicing your onions and mincing the garlic.
  • Next, scrub the potatoes, remove the eyes and cut them into 1 inch cubes. We like to leave the skins on but if that’s not your thing then peel before you cube them.

Uniformly cube the potatoes for even cooking and spoon-friendly eating.

  • Put your pot over medium heat. Using the kitchen shears cut the bacon strips into 1/4 inch pieces and crisp them up for about 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook everything down for another 5-7 minutes until the veggies are soft.

Pretend you're surprised that we added bacon.

  • Drain the corn and add it to the mix. Next, add the potato chunks, the rest of the quart of milk, cream, clam juice and bay leaves. Throw in your thyme, cayenne pepper and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper for good measure.

If you love your cardiologist, go ahead and use all cream instead of cutting it with milk.

  • Bring everything to a boil, stirring occasionally. When you’ve reached your boiling point add the clams, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving. Season to taste, adding a little Garnish with some fresh parsley if desired and at least two biscuits if you know what’s good for you.

Turkey Chili & Cheddar Corn Bread

Turkey, spice and everything nice.

In honor of the upcoming holiday we put a little twist on everyone’s favorite fall fowl. Bursting with unexpected flavors, this lighter version of chili (ok, we know, it’s all relative) gets a nice kick from chorizo and chipotle. Use cornbread from the box as a starter for a side with plenty of cheesy goodness. We recommend experimenting with different peppers to get the spice at prime cockle-warming levels.

Equipment Needed: 8 QT Pot, 13 X 9 Baking Dish, Mixing Bowl, Whisk, Cheese Grater, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 8-10

Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Zinfandel, Oaky Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Oktoberfest, Brown Belgians, Brown Ale, Bock

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs ground turkey ($5.99/lb)
  • 4 links of pre-cooked chorizo (we used Goya; $3.99/package of 2)
  • 1 can of white corn ($1.69/11 oz)
  • 6 canned chipotle peppers (look for the ones packed in adobo sauce, about $2.99/can)
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans ($1.39/15 oz can)
  • 3 TBSP butter, divided ($4.99/lb)
  • About 1/4 C flour ($1.89/2 lb bag)
  • 1 QT chicken stock ($3.19/QT)
  • 2 medium onions ($0.99/lb)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 TBSP chili powder ($1.50/4 oz jar)
  • 1/2 TBSP cayenne pepper ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke ($2.89/3 oz)
  • 2 TBSP ground oregano ($2/2 oz jar)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin ($3.50/2 oz jar)
  • 2 packages of Jiffy corn muffin mix ($0.69/box)
  • 2/3 C milk ($1.19/QT)
  • 2 eggs ($2.50/dozen)
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Corn Bread Preparation:

  • If you can read, you should be able to make cornbread. Since you’re looking at this blog we’ll assume this won’t be a problem. Preheat the oven according to the package. Put the dry mix in your mixing bowl, add the eggs and milk and whisk it all together.
  • Squeeze in about 1 1/2 TBSP of honey and grate in 1/2 C of cheddar cheese. Stir again until everything’s mixed.

Stay sweet with some bee juice in your bread.

  • Taking 1 TBSP of butter, grease up the bottom and sides of the baking pan and pour in your corn bread mix.

Don't forget this part; it will make your life easier when you're trying to cut the bread out of the pan.

  • Bake according to instructions, or until you can stick a toothpick in and pull it out clean. Set aside to cool and wait patiently for the chili to cook.

Chili Preparation:

  • Dice the onions and mince the garlic. Remove the chorizo links from their casings and cut them into pieces as small as you can get them (you want the meat to be as close as minced as possible).

Mince your meat.

  • Put your pot over medium heat and add 2 TBSP of butter to get the party started. Add the aforementioned diced/minced ingredients, a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper and cook everything down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so things don’t burn.
  • Add the ground turkey to the pot along with another couple healthy pinches of salt and pepper and stir everything together. Give the turkey a good stir every couple of minutes and cook it until it’s lightly browned. You should be good to go in 13 minutes or so.
  • While the turkey is cooking, mince the chipotle peppers. Add them to the pot after about 10 minutes when the turkey has had the chance to brown a bit.

Mince the peppers and don't be shy about adding some more adobo sauce to the mix.

  • Drain the corn and beans and add them to the pot along with the chicken stock. Add the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, vinegar and liquid smoke. Stir thoroughly, bring everything to a light boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little flour to thicken things up a bit and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve with a healthy grating of cheese over top and a nice slice of corn bread.

Add the entire quart of stock. If you need more liquid you can use water, or go crazy with some ale or white wine.


Buttermilk Garden Mac ‘n Cheese

If a bowl of this doesn't satisfy then there's nothing more we can do for you.

In our never-ending quest to plow through our CSA veggies we’ve combined the yin and yang of healthy and gluttonous. Buttermilk gives everything a tangy zip while the additions from the garden make it a mac attack to be reckoned with.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Steamer, 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Frying Pan, Spatula, Cheese Grater, Colander, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Spoon, Kitchen Shears (optional)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Un-oaked Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Belgian Browns, ESB Ale, Dunkelweizen

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches broccoli (about $2.89/lb)
  • 1/2 lb kale (about $1.49/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 8-10 slices turkey bacon ($4.50/12 oz package)
  • 3 small serrano peppers (Thomas grew these but you should be able to get them for about $2/lb; substitute 2 jalapenos if you like)
  • 2-3 C low-fat buttermilk ($2.19/QT)
  • 3 TBSP butter ($4.99/lb)
  • 4 TBSP flour ($1.89/2 lbs)
  • Italian-style or Panko bread crumbs ($2.99/24 oz package)
  • 8 oz fontina cheese ($8.99/lb)
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni ($0.99/lb)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

Note: This recipe has a lot of moving parts so you can do them in almost any order you want, but we recommend making the cheese sauce last before throwing everything in the oven.

  • Start boiling water for your macaroni. As soon as it’s at a rolling boil toss in a couple pinches of salt, some olive oil and the pasta and cook it until it’s al dente (about 6 minutes or so). Drain and pour the pasta into the baking pan
  • Wash all your veggies. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets, trim the kale off the stems, dice the onion and peppers, and mince the garlic.

Bite-sized broccoli is easy to steam and even easier to eat.

  • Using the same pot you did your pasta in, add the steamer basket and some water so it’s just barely touching the bottom of the steamer. Bring it up to a simmer, add the kale and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove and drain the kale, add more water if you need to and repeat the process with the broccoli. Once the veggies are done, toss them in with the pasta. (NOTE: If you don’t have a steamer basket, or don’t have the patience to wait 30 minutes, you can saute the broccoli and kale.)

Steam the veggies to seal in the nutrients.

  • While your veggies are steaming, put the frying pan over medium heat and cut your turkey bacon into it. Fry up the pieces and about halfway through add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook them down. Add the entire mix to the baking pan with the rest of it.

Keeping it pseudo healthy with turkey bacon.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F about 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake the final product.
  • Again, reusing your pot put it over low heat and melt down your butter. Add the flour and stir together to make a roux. Cook it until it’s golden brown and add 2 cups of buttermilk. Stirring constantly, grate in the cheddar and fontina and heat the pot of gold until the cheeses are totally melted and incorporated. Add more buttermilk as necessary to thin things out; the final sauce should be slightly runnier than chocolate syrup.

A little roux will help thicken the sauce.

  • Pour the sauce over the baking pan mixture and, carefully, stir the whole thing so it’s all incorporated. Coat the top evenly with breadcrumbs and pop it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Serve and mow your way through the cheesy garden of goodness.

We'll just let you have a moment with this one.