I made these cod cakes on Christmas Eve and they were a huge hit. In fact, I made them early in the day (and reheated them in the oven when it was time to serve) and people kept popping in the kitchen to steal one. SO delicious and easy.
Mac and cheese inspired by Panera. Actually, it’s inspired by Pinterest since I’ve never even had Panera’s mac and cheese. When I do indulge in mac and cheese, I tend to prefer it to come from my kitchen and to be of the baked variety. I am a sucker for those crispy ever-so-slightly burnt edges. That said, I’ve been (always am…) craving Panera’s lethally delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup, so I decided to meld the two. So, while I can’t say that I know this to be an exact replica of Panera’s popular mac & cheese, it was yummy, easy, and decadent, and the original recipe is said to come from Panera itself. AND, it included one of my very favorite, and very under-rated cheeses, the American Cheese, white, thinly sliced from the deli. Yum.
So you’re probably thinking, “this thing is covered in cheese, how is it ‘lighter’?” Well, friends, this thing is usually sans veggies, deep-fried AND covered in cheese. This is actually a vegetarian meal you can feel pretty good about. Yes, there’s cheese. But cheese makes the world go ’round. And it’s covering loads of corn and veg. Now, I will warn you, poblano peppers can be a little inconsistent in their heat levels. I’ve had them when they’re very spicy or very mild – tonight we sure got some spicy ones! But just dollop some greek yogurt or sour cream on top and all is mellowed out.
It’s recipes like this one that make me love my slow-cooker. Browning the meat ahead of time adds so much to the flavor and texture of slow-cooked foods. Bone-in chicken legs and thighs in a flavorful broth seasoned with cumin, cinnamon, coriander. The apricots and the chickpeas add great texture too. Serve with some whole wheat couscous and some middle eastern flatbread – yum.