Saturday, March 31, 2012

Apple-Sausage Mac and Cheese

Apple-Sausage Mac and Cheese

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
1/2 cup diced onion
6 ounces chicken-apple sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Tablespoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups apple juice
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded (4 cups)
1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup sour cream
35 small butter crackers (1 sleeve Ritz), crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, about three minutes.Add the sausage, mustard powder, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the sausage is golden, about three minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about two minutes.  Stir in the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about eight more minutes.

3.  Slowly stir about three-quarters each of the monterey jack and cheddar cheese into the sauce until smooth, about two minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the pasta and sour cream.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and the remaining cheese.  Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let rest ten minutes before serving.

The flavor combination is out of this world!  I don't repeat many recipes, because I like to try a bunch of new things, but this is going to be made again soon! 

HH says, "You look at it and you think, it's macaroni and cheese.  Then you get into it and you realize that it is gourmet macaroni and cheese.  No, it's gourmet macaroni and cheese with meat, and that is where it crosses the line into meal territory."
Other Life Stuff...

HH surprised me on Tuesday, and brought me a balloon.  He told me I had a surprise.  We went for a drive on a dirt road.  He took me out to the golf course, and we had dinner there. 

HH led a meetnig today in town, and I went to get my hair done.  It was majorly overdue.

Happy hair picture:

I also bought five more cooking magazines.  :) 
I have one of two papers completed for my certification classes.  The second one will be completed tomorrow.

Cute picture of HH untaping his "cookie mummy" that was part of his "Ten Reasons He Should Take Mrs. F to See The Hunger Games."

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