Mac and Cheese

Is there anything more comforting on a chilly, gloomy day than a nice warm plate of Mac and Cheese? I certainly don’t think so. There are many variations to Mac and Cheese and so many ways to play it up. Like it spicy? Add some sriraccha. Like a more earthy flavor? Add some truffle oil or finely grated truffles. I like a classic, smooth Mac and Cheese. I have been working on this recipe for some time, so let me know what you think!

Here is my recipe:

2 cups pasta

1 egg, at room temperature

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

2 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese, I used sharp cheddar and Beecher’s Flagship

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

Amanda's Plate Mac and Cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in large pan and whisk in butter to make a roux. This will create the base of the cheese sauce. Stir for a few minutes, until mixture is smooth and flour flavor has cooked off.

mac and cheese

 3. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.

4. Add milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the roux. Temper in the egg. It is very important that your egg is at room temperature and that you whisk quickly. You do not want scrambled eggs in here! At this point, this sauce resembles a bechamel; the classic French white sauce.

5. Mix in the grated cheese until smooth.

6. Drain pasta and add into cheese sauce. Pour into ramekin.

mac cheese 4

mac cheese 5

 7. Toss panko bread crumbs in melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of your delicious cheesy noodles.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Then place until broiler for 1-2 minutes until panko is golden browned.

9. Enjoy 🙂


Mac and Cheese

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LA Bistro copy cat recipe

If you live in Dearborn, Michigan you have probably been to LA Bistro at least once.. a week! They have many delicious dishes including “New Born Beef”, which I have recreated.

During the month of Ramadan (Muslim Holy month in which we fast from sunrise to sunset), I like to prepare the ingredients ahead of time. This way, I can cook right before Iftar (meal eating at sunset). Preparing the ingredients in such a manner is called, “Mise en Place”, French for putting in place.

It will look a little something like this: Mise en place


The recipe is as follows:

Makes 4 servings

For the Newborn Beef:

1 medium white onion chopped

8 oz button mushrooms chopped

2 tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used what I had on hand; Mexican blend. But cheddar would be great too)

1 green pepper chopped

1 pound beef chopped into 1 inch long strips (like you would cut for fajitas)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper


For the rice:

1 cup long grain whole wheat rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon EVOO

2 threads of saffron

1 star anise

salt and pepper



1. Combine all ingredients for the rice and bring to a boil. Turn down to lowest heat setting and let cook for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Heat pan on medium heat and add EVOO and strips of beef. Add onion, mushroom, green pepper and spices. Cook through.

3. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese.

4. Serve with salad and ranch. I will post my homemade ranch recipe soon!

5. Enjoy!

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