Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mac & Cheese; Kevin's Famous Chinese Chicken Salad

My Gpa was feeling like he hadn't seen the family in awhile, so he wanted to have a get together. Since he's in a nursing home, and it's tough to transport him, we schedule these things there. They have a "Bistro" which is just a room with tables and chairs for eating at; we reserved the room and everyone signed up to bring something.

Lisa asked me last night if we were coming, and what I was bringing. I said I was thinking about bringing a chicken, but I wasn't sure. This morning, I forgot to pick up the chicken at the store, so I had switched to Mac & Cheese, which I could make from what I had at home.

Mac & Cheese

I'd never made Mac & Cheese from scratch before, but I'd watched Bobby's mom make it enough times I felt I could do it. I had a little macaroni and some shells - not enough of either by themselves, but plenty together. In the fridge I had some Cheddar, Mozzarella, and creamy Havarti - I cut all of that into little cubes so they would melt faster and more evenly. In a large pan, I melted a stick of butter, threw in some salt and pepper, and a little cream - I only had a tad left, so I used milk for the rest. When that was warm, but not quite bubbling, I threw in some of the cheese; as that melted, I added more cheese and stirred almost constantly, adding milk when necessary. When my noodles were done, I drained them, put them back in the pot, and poured my cheese sauce over top and mixed it around. I poured most of that in a baking dish and threw it in the oven for a bit; the rest I put in bowls for Emma and I to try.

Bobby stole a bite out of my bowl, and liked it so much he stole the rest. I should have put some extra cheese on the top, and tomatoes, but I didn't. Next time. Maybe some bread crumbs or something too.

When we got to the nursing home, I found that Lisa had missed my "not sure" and told everyone I was bringing chicken. Oops. The Mac & Cheese was well received though. No one else had brought a meat dish, but my uncle Kevin brought his famed Chinese Chicken Salad. I'd heard of it, but never had it, and today I wound up going back for thirds, and fighting the temptation of fourths. Lisa and I had him email us the recipe, this is what he sent us:

Kevin's Famous Chinese Chicken Salad


1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
4 tbsp Sugar **Note: I've tried to substitute the sugar w/ a sugar substitute but it just does not taste right
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder (or 1 clove)

Chicken Breast
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Almonds (toasted)
Sesame Seeds (toasted)
Chow Mein Noodles (The fried kind)

Mix dressing, chill
Boil chicken breast until it shreds easily with a fork, cool (He just puts the breasts in a pan full of water and throws it on the stove. When it easily falls apart when stuck with a fork, it's done.)
shred chicken with fingers
Add to lettuce, celery, green onions (chives)
Add seeds, almonds & chow mein noodles
Serve with rice or bread sticks if desired

Tasty stuff, I tell you. I'll be making it soon.

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