Wednesday, February 18, 2009


monday nights bring two great things: heroes and mac & cheese throwdown! cmoore makes some of the best mac & cheese i've had. this is partially due to the copious amounts of butter and cheese. unfortunately, that doesn't fit very well into my "don't be a fatass" diet. my goal for this throwdown was to make a tasty mac & cheese, but without the artery clogging side effects.

result? i think i did pretty darn well. i added some protein (diced grilled chicken), and lightened up the base of the sauce with 1/2 chicken stock instead of using all milk/cream. to go along with the mac & cheese, i made some green beans so we wouldn't feel so bad about eating such large amounts of cheese. i hope you like this meal as much as we did!

"don't be a fatass" mac & cheese (and green beans)

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lemon, juiced & zested
2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed plus 2 cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tbsp for the sauce base
salt & pepper

1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni, or other short pasta (i only had semolina that day, so i just went with that)
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 onion, diced
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups 1% milk
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup reduced fat extra sharp cheddar, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 cup provolone

for the green beans:
1 package green beans, trimmed (or you can trim them yourself if you're not lazy)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon

butterfly the chicken breast. combine the lemon juice, zest, rosemary, smashed garlic, 2 tbsp olive, and salt & pepper (to taste) in a large ziploc bag. put the chicken breast in and let it marinate for 45 min. after the 45 minutes, bring a grill pan to high with a medium high flame. grill the chicken breast until it is cooked through (about 4 minutes on each side). allow the breast to rest (look, i rhymed!) for about 5 minutes. dice into small chunks.

preheat the broiler and bring a large pot of water up to a boil. when it gets to a rolling boil, salt it heavily and dump in the macaroni. cook until al dente. drain and set aside until cheese sauce is done.

to start the cheese sauce, add the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a deep ovenproof skillet. when it is melted, add the garlic and onions and allow it to sweat out. when the onions are translucent, sprinkle the flour in and cook for about a minute. then add the chicken stock and milk and allow it to thicken up a bit, for about 5-6 minutes. after the sauce base has thickened, add in the dijon mustard and tangy cheese. you can add more cheese if the sauce doesn't look thick enough, but you shouldn't need too much more than that. (remember, this is a "don't be a fatass" dish.) when the sauce is finished, add in the pasta and the diced chicken. mix it together well. sprinkle the extra 1/4 cup of cheese over the top and pop it under the broiler for about 3 minutes. bring it out and enjoy the yummy creamy goodness!!!

for the green beans:
using the same pot the pasta was cooked in, bring water up to a boil. add the green beans and cook for only 30 seconds, just to blanch them. drain them and put them immediately into an ice bath. heat up the 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the garlic. saute for a minute, then add the green beans to the pan. season with salt & pepper to taste and cook for about 5-6 minutes until the beans get slightly charred along some sides. take off the heat and squeeze the lemon juice over all the beans and toss. something healthy to make you feel not so bad about eating mac & cheese!

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