Noelle Carter | Los Angeles Times | Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 7:00 am |

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  This recipe sounds yummy – The Lady on vacation next week and you can bet she’ll be making it for The Man and moi.

Famous Dave’s Mac ’n’ Cheese

Servings: 8 to 12

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus ¼ cup (½ stick), divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups sweet corn niblets
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound jumbo elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
  • ½ cup cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the butter until thoroughly combined to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, then the half-and-half. Whisk in the mustard, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper.

Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes to develop the flavors. Whisk in the white cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir in the corn, jalapenos and parsley, then remove from heat.

Stir in the macaroni, then the cubed sharp cheddar and Colby cheeses. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Melt the remaining one-quarter cup of butter in a small sauce pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the cracker, panko and unseasoned bread crumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the macaroni and cheese.

Bake the mac ’n’ cheese until bubbly and browned on top, about 40 minutes.


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The Lady came across a recipe for Zingerman’s Roadhouse Mac n Cheese which in September of this year the Food Network named the #1 Comfort Food in America. For the original recipe, click here.

The Lady adapted their recipe as follows:

Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 15 minutes, Total time: 30 minutes


Olive Oil

4 Kalbi Marinated Chicken Thighs, grilled

sea salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped

Celery seeds

1 large elephant garlic clove
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup Half n Half
1 teaspoon deli-style mustard
1 pound grated 3 year Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil

Cup of frozen peas.


Grill chicken thighs. (The Lady buys the Kalbi Marinated Chicken at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer Meat Counter, which The Man and I find to be quite delish.) Set aside to cool and then chop into bite-size pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and stir well.  Cook according to the instructions on the pasta box. Drain it and set it aside. Do not rinse. The starch holds the cheese better on the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter for the sauce in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, being careful not to scorch the butter. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until the translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. The Lady sprinkled the veggies with celery seeds before sautéing.

Add the flour, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.

Slowly add the milk and half n half, a little at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Once the flour and milk are completely combined, stir in the heavy whipping cream. Keep the mixture at a simmer (not at a high boil) until it thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the mustard, cheese and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large heavy bottom skillet set over medium-high heat, get the pan very hot. Add the olive oil and when it begins just to smoke, add the drained cooked noodles. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles. Toss thoroughly and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you have approximately 15% of the mixture golden brown.

Add the chopped chicken and the frozen peas. Toss and serve.

You don’t need to cook the peas in advance. The heat of the dish will cook them enough for taste.


This is from a recipe given to The Lady by Cha Cha, a young Mexican woman who grew up in East LA. The Lady adapted it to fit the needs and wants of The Man. The Lady asked The Man if he wanted Red or Green Sauce and he replied, “Both”.

The original recipe was as a casserole and when The Lady asked Cha Cha why it was a casserole, she explained that it was much easier than rolling the enchiladas and it tasted the same… The Lady embraced the “easy” part…

As many of you know, The Lady doesn’t measure and just goes along using the amounts of ingredients that she thinks will work. Where she knows the exact amount or number, she has included it.


6 Flour or Corn Tortillas

Red Enchilada Sauce – 10 ounce can

Green Enchilada Sauce – 10 ounce can

Tillamook Cheeses: Colby/Jack, Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar and Chili Pepper Garlic Cheddar (Shredded using equal parts of the Colby/Jack and White Cheddar and half that amount of the Chili Pepper Garlic. She mixed all three together.)

Chicken – 2 Boneless Breasts and 4 Boneless Thighs

Black olives – Sliced

½ Bulb of Shallot – Chopped

2 Garlic Cloves – Chopped

½ of a large Sweet Onion – Chopped

1 Bell Pepper – Chopped

¼  to ½ Cilantro Bunch – Chopped

1 Anaheim chili

Mexican Seasoning to Taste

Oil (The Lady only uses EVOO)


The Lady grilled the Anaheim Chili over the gas flame of the stove until totally charred. She then put it in a zipper bag with a wet paper towel to steam it. She left it in the bag to cool.

Next she sprinkled Mexican Seasonings on the chicken and sautéed the pieces in EVOO in a large sauce pan. Once cooked, she set aside to cool in a bowl to catch the juices to be used later.  

Next she chopped the shallots, onions, garlic and bell pepper and sautéed them in the same pan she used to grill the chicken. 

Once cooled, The Lady tore the chicken into shreds and added the sautéed veggies to the bowl with the chicken and natural juices.

Next she peeled the charred skin off the Anaheim Chili; chopped it and added it to the chicken mixture. 

She sliced the olives and chopped the cilantro and added them to the chicken mixture and set aside.

Next step was to schmear half of the baking dish bottom with some of the red sauce and the other half with some of the green sauce. 

She scraped the bottom of the sauce pan and added a little EVOO. Once the oil was hot, she began sautéing the tortillas to brown them slightly. She put two on the bottom and schmeared both – keeping the red sauce on one side of the dish and the green on the other.

Next she added some of the chicken mixture and then sprinkled some of the Tillamook Cheese mixture on top. She repeated 8 and 9 to make three layers.

Cover top with remaining cheese mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top is slightly brown.

Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with guacamole and sour cream on the side. Spanish rice and/or black beans are nice side dishes.