Mac & Cheese ( not really )

Karen Kentgen and I on the set of The North Coast Cuisine.  The shot shows a nice Flambe.
Karen Kentgen and I on the P.B.S. set filming the North Coast Cuisine. This Mac & Cheese was requested By Dee Johnson, Thank you, Dee.

Mac and Cheese
( not really )

I like to utilize Orchette Pasta, it is like Ear shaped.

This pasta holds the creamy goodness inside better in my opinion and has a great mouth feel!!!

I like to add Bacon, Mushrooms, Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Cheese.

Top it with a Breast of Chicken.

You may make any variation of this that you like.

For 4 people I would cook 1/2 to 3/4 pound of pasta lets say depending on the appetites of those consuming.

Then make the Cheese sauce it is kind of like a sauce Mornay although not the classic Mornay Sauce.

1 # Orchette Pasta

6 Quarts Water

Bring the water to a boil, add salt to taste.

Add the Pasta, stir from time to time.

The pasta is cooked when there is a small speck of white in the middle.

When cooked I like to pour off the water and either utilize the Pasta right away or cool it with cold Water.

If I am storing cooked Pasta mix in a little Olive Oil cover and refrigerate


1/2 med. yellow Onion

2 t. minced Garlic

1 c. Olive Oil

1 c. Flour ( sifted )

3 c. Chicken Stock the recipe is here.

3 c. Milk

1# Cheddar Cheese ( sharp or mild what ever your preference is ) grated, save some for the topping.

1/4 # Peccrino Cheese I use a rasp to grate this cheese it is hard like Parmesan Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste


1/2 # Bread Crumbs ( when my bread gets old I cut it down, dry it out before it molds.
Then I place it in a food processor and make my Crumbs.

2 T. chopped Parsley

1/4 c. of the Cheddar Cheese


1/2 c. Bacon, small diced

3/4 c. Mushrooms, sliced ( Crimini, Portabella, what ever is local or Button Shrooms )

1/4 Roasted Red Pepper cut into 1″ by 1/8″ strips( place the pepper over the fire of the burner,
cook until it is black then in a covered container to cool. Then peal off the skin.
This is one of the only things it is OK to burn. Do not let it turn white though. )

4 ounces Gorgonzola Cheese

4 boneless Chicken Breast ( use the bones for the stock )I use what is called an Airline Breast.
That is with the first joint of the wing attached. It keeps it juicy.

Make the sauce and cook the pasta first.


In a large pot heat up 1 c. of Olive Oil and add the Onions saute until translucent.

Add the Garlic and let it expand but not brown.

Add the Flour and reduce the heat stirring occasionally.

Let this cook for about 10 minutes do not let it brown this is a white Roux.

Have the Milk and Chicken Stock hot, add it 1/3 at a time with a whisk, whisk it until smooth.

Once all of the liquid is incorporated add the Cheese. Holding some Cheddar behind for the topping.

You may have to adjust the consistency a little that is OK.

Season with Salt and Pepper, set aside this is your sauce and you may cool some and save it for later or not.

Preheat the Oven to 425 degrees.

I make the sauce separate in case someone doesn’t like one of the add on’s.

Heat 1 and 1/2 ounces of Olive Oil in a large skillet.

Season the Chicken Breast with Salt and Pepper on both sides.

Place in the hot skillet skin side down and let brown.

When the skin side is brown turn the Breasts over and place the skillet in the Hot oven.

After 5 minutes remove the skillet and place the Breast on an oven dish skin side down, return the Breast to the oven.

place the Skillet on the burner, add the Bacon and let it Render.

When the Bacon is almost done add the Mushrooms. Saute the Mushrooms until done.

Add the Roasted Red Pepper.

Add the Cheese sauce, Gorgonzola Cheese, a little Cream if necessary.

Add the cooked Pasta and blend.

Season to taste, pour off into either a Casserole dish or individual serving dishes.

Top with a generous portion of the Topping.

Place in the oven to brown a little.

Remove the Chicken Breast from the oven and let cool 4-5 minutes and slice on the bias ( at a 45 degree angle ).

Pull the Mac and Cheese from the oven and top with the Chicken fanned .

Serve !!! I like mine with a nice White Wine !!!

        Cheers !!! 

Surf and Turf, my way

This Shrimp and fillet Mignon dish with Corn Coulis, reduced Balsamic Vinegar and Creme Fraiche I designed while working in Tucson Arizona. Depicting the Desert through food.
This Shrimp and fillet Mignon dish with Corn Coulis, reduced Balsamic Vinegar and Creme Fraiche I designed while working in Tucson Arizona. Depicting the Desert through food.

Surf and Turf

For this classic dish I am going to use Shrimp with Fillet Mignon served with

Corn Coulis reduced Balsamic Vinegar and Creme Fraiche.

2 – 4oz. Fillet Mignon

6 – 16/20 count Shrimp

2 T Butter

1-2 oz White Wine

2 crustinies

1 ear Corn

1/8 c Olive Oil

2 t. Garlic smashed

½ onion ruff cut

1 stock of Celery diced

1 sprig of Thyme

1 Bay leaf


Salt and Pepper

½ c. Cream

½ T. Buttermilk

½ c Balsamic Vinegar reduced to 3 T. roughly ( I reduce quite a lot and use it for many garnishes )

2 sprigs Rosemary


3 days in advance mix the cream and buttermilk, let that sit out stirring it once a day and covering then refrigerate.

it for 3 days. This will make the creme Fraiche.

make the Corn Coulis. Clean the ear of Corn and brown it over an open burner or BBQ.

Let it cool.

Cut the kernels off and run your knife down the cob to remove all of the good stuff.

Put the cob in a small pot and cover with water. Bring that to a boil and skim the foam off.

Let that simmer ½ hour and strain.

While the cob is simmering in another small pot add the Olive Oil and get it hot.

Add the onion and saute until translucent.

Add the Garlic and saute to expand the garlic.

Add the Celery and saute until it is as green as it could be.

Add the corn that you cut off of the cob and when that gets hot,

Add the corn stock, Bay leaf and thyme.

Bring it up to a boil and skim the foam and reduce the heat to simmer.

Let simmer ½ hour and place in a blender and puree until smooth.

Strain and season with salt and pepper.

Hold for service.

Season the Fillet with Salt and Pepper on both sides.

Heat some Olive Oil in a small skillet place the Fillets it should sizzle that means the skillet is hot.

Let them sear then turn them over and sear the other side.

Depending on the temp. you like is how long to cook them and at 4oz each they do not take long.

In an other skillet heat the Butter when it is melted and boiling add the Shrimp.

Reduce the heat and after a minute turn the Shrimp over.

Add some Garlic and let that expand.

Add the wine and once that is hot the Shrimp should be done. Do not over cook them.


The Corn Coulis down first, to cover the bottom of the plate.

Have the Creme Fraiche and reduced Balsamic in squeeze bottles.

Draw the lines on the Corn Coulis and with a tooth pick or knife blade draw the sauces out.

Place the crustini in the center of the plate.

The Fillet goes on that then 3 of the Shrimp and hold it together with the Rosemary.

Wallah !!! Cheers, I hope you enjoy !!!