You win some, you lose some. This week, I feel a little more like I’m on the losing end. First of all, I forgot to take any pictures of today’s recipes so you get the lovely stock photo for those who want to pin. Second, we’ve broken into the potato recipes. Our first batch of dried potatoes where fresh when we started. We, now, realize that was a bad idea. The potatoes will not cook. So by the time we had somewhat edible potatoes the rest of the dish was so overcooked, it might as well came from a can. We live and we learn but that might put the potato recipes off for awhile while we make up new batches with dried cooked potatoes. I can say – don’t dry fresh potatoes. Not only do they turn funky colors, they don’t cook right when re-hydrated. They are tough and taste terrible.
I have two recipes for you today – Mac and Cheese and Taco Beef “Hamburger Helper”. They are really random sort of recipes so please bear with me.
Mac and Cheese
This uses a base mix like the recipes I posted on Tuesday. This is the same base mix, we will use for the scalloped potatoes (once we have the potato situation fixed). This was a well received dish. It didn’t taste like boxed mac and cheese but might if we had used a cheese powder. You can buy cheese powder at nearly any place that sells emergency foods or San Francisco Herbs. Since we wanted to use just what we had in our pantry, we used Parmesan cheese. I didn’t love this one but I don’t love our Italian Seasoning blend. Honestly, I believe I can use the base mix from Tuesday’s post and just sub chicken bouillon for the beef and have a pretty decent base mix (and only one recipe).
2 cups powdered milk
3/4 cup corn starch (because I ran out of cornstarch, I added 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder)
1/4 cup chicken bouillon powder
2 TB onion flakes
2 teas Italian seasoning
Mac and Cheese
1/3 cup base mix
1/2 cup cheese powder (we used 1/2 cup dried shredded cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese)
2 TB butter powder
1/8 teas pepper
2 1/4 cup macaroni noodles
We went with the dump everything in a bag instead of separating out the seasonings and the pasta. Because of that, we just dumped everything into a pot and added 3 cups water. I panicked a little way in and added another cup of water. I think the three cups would have been perfect. I ended up cooking it a little longer but it still came out nicely. The noodles were tender and the sauce was as thick as I expected it to be. It wasn’t really cheesy tasting which was a little disappointing but there were no leftovers.
Taco Beef and Cheese
1/2 cup cheese powder (we used Parmesan and what was left of the dried cheese which was a spoonful)
4 TB Taco seasoning
1/4 cup onion flakes
1 TB milk powder
2 cups macaroni noodles
Again, we just dumped all the ingredients together. This was a small enough recipe that it fit nicely in a old spaghetti sauce jar.
To cook – brown 1 pound hamburger. Add ingredients and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer 20 minutes.
The beef we use is from a local butcher. It has no added water and barely any fat (we have to oil the pan) so if you buy meat from the grocery store, it might need a different ratio of water. I like to keep a cup of water nearby, in case it gets too dry before the noodles are cooked.
I, now, make my own taco seasoning. I don’t have a recipe – just a list of ingredients. I add everything in equal amounts and then taste. From there, I keep adding what I think it needs until it tastes the way I want it to. This last batch of taco seasoning, I used a fancy salt which ended up to be saltier than I expected so we have a large batch of salty taco seasoning because I didn’t have enough of the other ingredients to cut it. So I would recommend starting with something like 1 teaspoon of salt and then add 1 tablespoon each of the remaining ingredients. Then taste it. You can always add more salt.
To make: mix together – salt, cumin, paprika, cayenne, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning. The Italian seasoning may seem weird but it adds a certain balance to the mix. If you do not have Italian seasoning then a mix of basil and oregano would work.