Sunday, March 17, 2013

Green Food for St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! In celebration of the day, here is an obscure piece of trivia for you: St. Patrick's Day includes the shamrock because St. Patrick used the 3-leaf clover to explain the holy trinity to the Irish. As to the color green and lots of beer? Who knows, but I like it!

The most traditional meal for St. Patrick's day is Corned Beef and Cabbage, but since Mike doesn't like corned beef OR cabbage, we did a little something different. We stuck with the green theme, though, because who doesn't love green food? And because I love everything (and I do mean everything) about macaroni and cheese, we had Southwest Green Mac and Cheese for lunch!
That's right... GREEN mac and cheese!

Some macaroni, pepperjack cheese, garlic, cilantro, and avocado!
 While the pasta is cooking, you make the green sauce: avocado, lime juice, salt, and cilantro in the blender (or a food processor works too) and blend until creamy. Then set it aside.

Before...

After!

The cheesy part...
 The cheese sauce is made with butter, flour, milk and pepperjack cheese. And some red pepper flakes because I like it SPICY!

Shredded pepperjack cheese... yummy!


When the pasta is done cooking, drain and then mix in the green sauce until well combined, then pour the cheesy sauce over the top and mix well.

Then eat!
 

SOUTHWEST GREEN MAC AND CHEESE
Makes 4-6 servings

10 oz dry elbow macaroni
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Fresh avocado chunks and cilantro, for garnish, if desired

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, around 8-10 minutes, in salted water. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, put the garlic, avocados, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and mix until creamy. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. When fully melted, whisk in the flour until a paste is formed. Slowly add the milk, whisking until completely combined. Add the shredded cheese, a little at a time while stirring in a figure eight pattern until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and let thicken.

Mix the creamy green sauce in with the pasta noodles until well combined. Then pour the cheese sauce over the top and mix well. Garnish with fresh chunks of avocado and cilantro leaves. Then eat.

This would be good with some tortilla strips as garnish, too. And maybe some tomato. Lots of ways to spice this up - have fun with it!