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Friday, October 28, 2011

Smoked Mac & Cheese

Alright "Q" fans, a short while back, I was inspired by a guest post on The BBQ Smoker Site by Hanneke Eerden of The Dutchess Cooks. The post was regarding a favorite comfort food for millions of people everywhere...Mac & Cheese! She smoked it on the grill and I thought I'd take a stab at this American classic myself.

First thing we're gonna need is our ingredients for the mac & cheese:

1 box Macaroni pasta
2 cups shredded cheddar-jack
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
4 T flour
3 T butter
3 or 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 1/2 t bbq rub (I used C-Dub's BBQ Rub)
1 t paprika
1 t thyme
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t salt

Go ahead and start up your smoker or grill. I have my gas grill fired up with one burner on, and hickory chip filled foil packs for the smoke.

Cook the macaroni as directed on the box and set aside. Add 2 T of butter to large pot and melt. Toss in the bacon and let it cook. Once the bacon begins to get crispy add in the flour and whisk for about a minute or so. Slowly pour in all of the milk, stirring constantly. You sauce should begin to smooth out.

At this point, you should add in all of your seasonings and herbs. Stir and allow to simmer for a few minutes. It will slightly thicken. Slowly stir in the 2 cups of cheese. Next, add in the macaroni and combine completely.

Get yourself a grill safe pan (aluminum, cast iron, etc.). I used a disposable aluminum pan. Use the remaining butter and grease the bottom and sides of your pan. Pour your mixture into your pan, top with the 1/2 cup cheddar and get out to your grill!

By this time, the smoke should be optimal. Place your pan on the grill (not over the heat) and smoke for 40 to 50 minutes. If it's hot & bubbly and the top is golden brown, you're done. Serve on the side of your favorite meal.

For our meal, we did some grill baked potatoes, a salmon filet (with Pirate Jonny's Jamaican Jerk Seasoning) and some boneless chicken breast filets (with Draper's AP Rub).

I put the potatoes over the heat at the same time I put on the mac & cheese. Just before our mac & cheese was done, I turned it and started the middle burner and put on the chicken breast and salmon filet. Don't leave the mac & cheese on the whole time. I timed it out and pulled it off when I turned my chicken over. Once those were grilled to perfection I topped the chicken with a little Original Doomer's "Q" Sauce and the salmon with Dark Doomer's "Q" Sauce. The meal was amazing and the family was pleased. The smoked mac & cheese was a huge success. If you have the chance, I highly recommend you try this out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Ok, so this isn't a BBQ item, but I started in the kitchen, so I've got a lot to offer! Here's a great take on lasagna (my favorite food of all time...I'm a human Garfield!).

There are so many ways to make it, but this is a simple recipe that anyone can do. Start by gathering all your ingredients. You'll need the following:

1 lb package lasagna noodles
1 26 oz can/jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Hunt's Garlic & Herb)
2 lbs ground meat (I used a grocery store mix: 1/2 lb pork, 1/2 lb veal, 1 lb beef)
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella
16 oz Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
3 T Italian seasoning
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t salt

To start off, prepare the lasagna noodles as directed on the box and set aside.
Crumble ground meat into a large bowl. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Mix together gently, then brown and drain fat.

Put seasoned meat into a saucepan and add pasta sauce. Place on medium heat and combine thoroughly.
Next add the fresh cut tomatoes and combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering begin combining cheeses in a large bowl, withholding 1/2 cup mozzarella. As a side note, you can always add more cheese (which I usually do). Now, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly, but gently.

Go ahead and get the oven'll want it about 350. Grab a 13x9x2 in pan (I love me some Pyrex!) and spoon a nice helping of meat sauce over the bottom of the pan. Grab the noodles you set aside earlier and place a layer on top of the meat sauce. Next, cover that with a layer of your cheese n' egg mixture.

There are a few ways you can spread the cheese mixture over your noodles (i.e. spooning it, rubber scraper/spatula smearing or pastry bagging). Each has it's pros & cons, so use the one you like best.

Repeat the sauce, noodles, cheese process until you have several complete layers. Top off with a layer of noodles and sauce. Sprinkle that with the remaining mozzarella and additional Parmesan, if desired.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in over for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, serve and enjoy! mmmm...soo good!