Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chopped Challenge #13: Macaroni & Cheese Pot Pie

Well, it seems that I have misplaced/lost/accidentally deleted the photos for Chopped challenges #11 and 12. :( I'm usually so careful about my photos, but I seem to be missing the pictures for those two challenges and a couple other recipes I planned to post. I think I probably uploaded some of the pictures on the memory card but not all of them, and then when I looked at the card later, I saw those same photos, assumed I had transfered everything on the card already, and deleted everything that was on it. C'est la vie. There's nothing I can do about it now. For the record, for challenge 11, I had to cook with chicken, Italian seasoning, tri-color pasta, and flavored wine. Justin left it up to me to pick the flavor of wine. It could be blueberry, peach, strawberry, etc.--anything that specifically listed a flavor on the label was fine. I decided to go with an orange and peach flavored one and used it to make Orange-Honey Chicken with Asian Pasta Salad. I marinated the chicken in the wine and some of the Italian seasoning, and I also used it along with some honey to make a sauce. I coated the chicken with some panko and baked it until it was done, and then I served it with the sauce drizzled over it. For a side, I combined the tri-color pasta with some diced onion and bell pepper, as well as some Asian sesame dressing to make pasta salad. It was pretty good. I think the pasta salad was my favorite part.

For challenge 12, Justin had to use cream cheese, king cake-flavored vodka, chai powder, and frozen waffles. He turned that into Boozy Ice Cream with Chai Topping and Waffle Chips. He used the vodka in some ice cream, like in the Boozy Wedding Cake Ice Cream recipe, and he combined the cream cheese with some pudding mix and the chai powder to make a topping with a consistency that was somewhere between pudding and mousse. Just before serving, he toasted the waffles and cut them into quarters to use for dipping into the dessert. It was tasty, and the mixture of the warm waffles with the cold ice cream was really nice.

That's enough about those though. On to today's challenge! Justin gave me boxed macaroni and cheese, ranch seasoning, pork sausage patties, and frozen broccoli to use. I combined those to make a macaroni and cheese pot pie. In the end, I think it could've been a little saucier--it was definitely more on the dry side--but otherwise the flavors were good. You could just make an extra 1/2 recipe of the sauce (minus the extra cheese) or even just add a bit more milk so that it thins out a bit, and that would probably take care of it. If you like your sauce on the thicker side though, try it as is.


2 to 3 cups frozen broccoli
1 ounce package ranch dressing mix
1 box (6 to 8 ounces) macaroni and cheese (Kraft Thick & Creamy suggested)
12 ounces pork sausage patties
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
1 refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury suggested)


Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the broccoli in a small pot with a lid and sprinkle with ranch dressing mix. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, and cook covered on medium for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can cook it longer if desired, but remember that the broccoli will cook a little more in the oven. Aim for it to be slightly underdone for your personal preference.

Meanwhile cook the noodles from the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. Drain the noodles when done, and return to pot. Set aside. Reserve cheese sauce packet for later.

Brown sausage patties in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through, flipping occasionally. Cut patties into quarters. Add sausage and broccoli to pot with noodles and stir to combine.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add chicken broth and milk, whisking well to remove any lumps. Cook until thickened and bubbly, 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese sauce packet from macaroni and cheese. Pour sauce over noodle mixture and stir well to combine. Pour noodle mixture into deep dish pie pan or individual ramekins/loaf pans. Cover with pie crust, poking holes in the top for ventilation. (Alternatively, you can cut the crust into strips and make a lattice-work top for your pie instead. This works especially well for individual pot pies where it can be difficult to get a solid piece of crust that will fit the shape/size of your baking dishes.) Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Servings: 4

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