Everyday Dinner

Homemade Pimento Mac & Cheese with Tillamook

A new take on a Southern Staple
Filed Under > Everyday Dinner

Spending a lot of time out on the West Coast I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying Tillamook more times than I can count. But finding it in the South has always been difficult. So when I heard Tillamook made their move to Southern distribution I jumped in the car and made a beeline to my nearest Publix and loaded up on their ice cream and all of the cheeses. I’m talking blocks, slices, and pre-shredded, it’s that good y’all.

For those not familiar with Tillamook let me give you a cliff notes version of why they’re the best. Based in Oregon, Tillamook has been around for over 100 years and through that entire time they’ve been farmer owned, made up of about 80 farming families. They’re committed to the best practices and stewardship, and are guided by the belief that everyone deserves real food that makes them feel good every day. And feel good is what their food does. It really is the absolute best.

In celebration of Tillamook now being readily available in the South they partnered with Sweet Auburn BBQ on an event called Melty Fest. If you saw my stories on Instagram the other night you would have seen just how amazing the event was, if you missed it you can check out my highlight reel. Anyway, Sweet Auburn has been using Tillamook since the beginning in their Pimento Cheese Stuffed Won Tons. Yep, you heard that right, Pimento Cheese Stuffed Won Tons. We even had the opportunity to create a few of our own.

Wanting to get in on the action, and being inspired by all things Tillamook and Southern I decided why not combine two of my personal favorites; pimento cheese and mac & cheese. Wow, I’m so glad I did.

The idea that homemade mac & cheese could never get any better was immediately flipped on its head with the addition of pimento cheese. The ooey-gooey flavor we’ve all come to love from mac & cheese was simply enhanced by the classic Southern Staple of a recipe. The pimentos, hot sauce and Worcestershire gave it a subtle bite that you’ve come to expect from pimento cheese, but combining it with the noodles and even more Tillamook cheese and then baking it with breadcrumbs, well there really are no words!

Below you’ll find the recipe that may or may not change your life for the better. A few things to note; you absolutely can make a lot of this ahead of time, but the key really is in moving quickly with the rue and stirring like crazy with the cheese addition on the stovetop. So make sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go and your oven pre-heated. Enjoy friends! Truly, MKR

Tillamook Pimento Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta (cooked with 2 tablespoons salt, drained and set aside)

1 qt. whole milk

9 tablespoons salted butter

6-8 tablespoons flour

1 package Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 16oz.

1 package Tillamook colby jack cheese shredded, (you can also buy the Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut shreds as well)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

2 cups panko breadcrumbs (I prefer Italian)

1 jar diced pimentos drained

2 bunches of fresh chives or green onions finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a large dutch oven, cast iron skillet or deep pan melt butter over medium/high heat.  Once melted, reduce heat to medium low add flour, Worcestershire, and hot sauce whisking constantly until you have a rue formed. 

Once rue is formed increase the heat to medium/high and gradually whisk in the milk, bringing it to a low boil and continue to whisk and cook for 5 minutes.  

Turn the heat down to low and add in cheese, lemon, pimentos, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until it’s a cheese sauce consistency. Once it’s at the desired consistency cover and turn off the heat.

In a small bowl melt 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave and mix in panko breadcrumbs. 

Add cooked pasta to a large baker of your choice and fold in cheese sauce. Top evenly with panko breadcrumbs. Cover with tin foil.

Bake in the oven covered for 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and uncover the dish. Broil until breadcrumbs form a crust and turn golden brown.

Remove from oven, top with chives and enjoy.

Photography Rustic White Interiors | This is in partnership with Tillamook, a brand I love and adore. All opinions, recipes, and photos are 100% my own.

Oven-Baked Rosemary Parmesan French Fries

using frozen, yes frozen fries, I put a new mouth-watering spin on a favorite
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for about a year now, because that’s about how long I’ve been making this super easy spin on homemade french-fries.

Using a mix of frozen (yes frozen) sweet potato and regular fries I’ve combined olive oil, garlic, fresh Parmesan cheese and rosemary for a new take on an old classic.

I discovered this combo while vacationing last summer on 30A. We had this big, beautiful kitchen to cook in and had the urge to whip up burgers and all the sides. But without frying or wanting to take the time to cut up the potatoes and soak them I opted for high quality, organic frozen fries (I prefer this brand).

While the fries roast in the oven, per the bags directions, finely chop up a a few sprigs of rosemary and shred about a cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, then set to the side. Next, combine 4-5 cloves of diced garlic to about 1/2 cup – a cup of olive oil on the stovetop and cook until warm. You want to try not to cook olive oil on too high of a temp as that’s when possible carcinogenic toxins can occur.

Anyway, once the fries are done drizzle the garlic-olive oil concoction over the fries and top them immediately with freshly grated Parmesan & rosemary. The result, mouth-watering french fries that transported me to a seat at the bar of my very favorite gastro pub. Trust me, everyone was a fan. Not only of the taste, but also of how easy they were to make.

And while I’ve been loving these as an easy summer side to burgers, this would also be fun for a “fancy” steak night at home, or if you’re trying to be healthier pair them with a great summer salad. And if you’re hosting a party, think about rolling parchment into a funnel shape and filling it with fries. Literally the possibilities are endless. Enjoy! Truly, MKR

Photography: Rustic White Interiors

Potato Chip Nachos, A Twist On The Classic

A delicious, and easy, twist on a classic
Filed Under > 30 Minute Meals

Cheesy Potato Chip Nachos, Waiting On Martha Cheesy Potato Chip Nachos, Waiting On Martha

Potato chip nachos.  Yep, you read that right. Recently, I was craving nachos but had no tortilla chips in the house.  What I did however have was potato chips.  So I figured why not.  And that’s when it happened; with that simple substitution I may have changed the way I eat nachos forever.  No joke, potato chip nachos are that good.

By now you probably know that nachos are one of my favorite meals to make.  Over the past few years I’ve shared recipes for every kind of nacho you can imagine: classic, breakfast, jambalya, sweet potato and even Nashville hot chicken nachos.  If theres a way to make nachos, I’ve made it.  So to be honest I’m kind of shocked I didn’t stumble upon this potato chip switch up earlier.

Why are potato chip nachos so good? They’re so dang good because of the crunch.  When trying out this recipe it will all boil down to the crunch achieved and the type of potato chip you use.  Therefore, I opted for kettle chips so they would hold up and not get soggy when topped and while baking. 

Like all of my nachos, this recipe calls for a mix of warm and cool toppings which I believe allows for the perfect bite.  The other reason these potato chip nachos are so good is I kept the toppings simple.  You really want to let that salty, crunchy, potato chip be the star so try to stick with more of a classic nacho topping and make sure not to over layer them. 

Finally I baked the nachos in my cast iron skillet which made the nachos super easy to contain while baking and serving.  Pro tip; before building your nachos layer parchment paper on the bottom of the skillet so it just comes over the side for super easy cleanup. 

So that’s my pitch for the potato chip.  And as a result I may never go back to classic tortilla chip nachos again.  I’ve shared the recipe below, and please let me know and tag me if you try potato chip nachos out as I’d love to know what you thought!  Truly, MKR
 


 

Potato Chip Nachos
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 bags of kettle chips or any thick potato chip (I used sea salt kettle chips)
  2. 1 block of organic cheddar cheese, shredded
  3. 1 can organic pinto beans, drained
  4. 1 bunch of green onions, chopped and set aside
  5. 1 green pepper, chopped and set aside.
  6. 2 large tomatoes, chopped and set aside
  7. 1 Jalepeno finely diced
  8. 1 handful of cilantro, finely diced/chopped
  9. salsas of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Take your skillet or sheet pan and layer potato chips evenly. Cover with cheese, pinto beans, and jalepenos.
  3. Bake until cheese is completely melted, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and top with green onions, green pepper and tomatoes. Serve with salsas on the side and enjoy.
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