On a sunday afternoon, I wanted to provide a sturdy and comforting meal for my hard working family. Because not everybody in my family likes the same things, I went on a search for some recipes I knew everyone would like. To me, comfort dinner food usually comes out of the oven, or has cheese in it, so a macaroni and cheese was the food of my choice. I did want it to have some vegetables in it though, just to keep it a bit healthy at least. This is how I got to the Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli from ‘Uit Pauline’s Keuken’. Everyone in my family loves broccoli, so this would fit us all. To go with it, I searched for a recipe with chicken breasts. It turned out my favorite one was from another Dutch blog: ‘Leuke Recepten. This recipe has chicken breast filled with tomato, mozzarella and basil, which seemed like a good combination with the macaroni. So we had a Blog inspired dinner!!
So I headed to the supermarket and went to go and get my ingredients, which actually were not that many, and some icecream for dessert.
Then I started to make Macaroni and cheese first. You can read the entire recipe in Dutch here, but I will describe it a bit in English as well.
What you need for (in my case) 5 people:
- 1 large broccoli
- 400 grams of macaroni
- 50 grams of butter
- 60 grams of flour
- 600 ml milk
- 100 + 50 grams of grated cheese
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder
- pepper and salt
- Lightly oiled oven tray
- Oven on 180 degrees Celcius
I first started with cutting the broccoli in very small pieces and washing them. Then I cooked the broccoli together with the macaroni (in the same pan) with some salt for 6 minutes. Drained the water and then I started the bechamelsauce. This was quite the challenge. With bechamel sauce, you first have to melt the butter, then add the flour bit by bit and let this mixture cook, making a roux. This part went well, but when I added the milk, the roux became a big clump and no matter what I did it wouldn’t dissolve in the milk. Even though I used exactly the amount that was described. So I had to throw away the first batch and start over. Then the second time, I didn’t measure every component, but just added everything by the look and feel of things, as I knew how it was supposed to come out. This time the bechamel turned out great! So I then added the nutmeg, currypowder, salt and pepper and the 100 grams of grated cheese. Because I tried to make it a tiny bit healthy, I used the ‘light’ version of the cheese. When the sauce was done, I put the macaroni, broccoli and the sauce in a lightly oiled oven tray and mixed it all well together. Then I spinkled the cheese on top of it and it was ready to go into the oven.
I then prepared the Chicken. Full recipe here.
What you need:
- 5 chicken breasts
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 mozzarella balls
- fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- lightly oiled oven tray
The first thing to do was seasoning the chicken breast and baking them in a pan. They have to be seared on all sides and have a nice golden brown color. In the mean time, I made thin slices of the mozzarella (light version again) and tomatoes and I picked some basil leaves. When the chicken was done, I made 3 indentations in each chicken breasts. Then I put a slice of mozzarella, tomato and a basil leave in each indentation. Well, I made one without mozzarella, because my father doesn’t like it. After this, I placed them in a lightly oiled oven tray and they were ready to go into the oven.
So I put the Macaroni and chicken in the oven at the same time, because they both needed 20 minutes in the oven. Little did I know I hadn’t put the oven on correctly. So when I checked on it after 10 minutes, I noticed the cheese on both dishes wasn’t melting and the oven wasn’t as hot as it should have been. At frist I was surprised, but then I knew what went wrong and changed the settings of the oven. Then it took another 20 minutes before both of the dishes were done.
But when they were finally ready, all the hard work paid off. Both of the dishes turned out really great and they were well received by my family. The macaroni and cheese was gooey and tasty, like I would want my comfort food to be. I could have added some more spices and seasoning to the bechamel though, because it was a little bit bland. The chicken was perfect! Well cooked, still moist inside and with the mozzarella molten over it. Just delicious! The macaroni and chicken went well together, with supplementing tastes. We all enjoyed it very much.
And of course, we needed a nice dessert to finish it off as well, so I got Speculoos icecream from the Lidl to try. My brother and sitster in law brought me a Mars dessert sauce from France on their holiday (which I haven’t found in the Netherlands so far), so I figured we might try that on it as well! The speculoos icecream was divine: it had swirls of cookies, as wel as very crunchy bits of speculoos in it. I must say I think this was one of my alltime favorite icecreams from the Lidl. The Mars dessert sauce looked just like a regular caramel sauce, a bit thicker, but it tasted like you would expect from a Mars candybar. You could tell there was chocolate in it, but the chocolate wasn’t dominant. The sauce and te icecream were so nice together!
So we had a wonderfull sunday dinner the family with the main course all from blog recipes. How wonderful is the richness of recipes on the internet?
What are your favorite blog recipes for dinner?