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Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese

Yields about 10-12 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 16 oz Box of Macaroni Pasta
  • 8 oz Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup of Cooked Chopped Spinach
  • 14 oz of Quartered Artichokes (canned or jared)
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 5 Strips of Your Favorite Bacon (optional, but recommended) 
  • 1 Tbs of Crushed Garlic
  • 1 Tsp of Salt
  • 2 Tbs of Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Tsp of Pepper
  • 1 Egg

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pre-Heat the oven to 350
  • Add bacon to pan to brown. Once bacon is crispy, remove from the pan and dice it into small pieces.
  • Leave about half of the bacon grease in the pan and add artichokes to pan and brown in bacon grease. Once artichokes are brown remove from the pan and transfer to a separate bowl.
  • If using fresh spinach, cook spinach down until you have about a half-cup of spinach. Once spinach is cooked, remove from pan and chop the cooked spinach and artichokes into small pieces.
  • Melt butter in pan, and slowly mix in cream cheese.
  • Once cream cheese begins to melt, add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream to pan and begin to whisk on low heat.
  • As the cream cheese mixes together with heavy whipping cream, gradually add the parmesan, and cheddar jack cheese (leaving about a handful of cheddar jack for garnishing at the end.
  • When the cheese sauce is smooth add 1/2 tablespoon of crushed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Continue to mix until smooth.
  • Mix the artichokes, spinach, and macaroni until all macaroni is completely coated with cheese sauce. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg. Add egg to macaroni. Pour ingredients into a greased baking dish. Bake on 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven after most liquid has evaporated and macaroni and cheese has become firm.
  • Once the macaroni is firm top macaroni with remaining cheddar jack cheese and put it back in the oven until the cheese had melted.
  • Allow 10 minutes for the macaroni to rest and sprinkle the bacon crumbles on top so that it is evenly distributed all across the dish (Bacon makes everything better!).

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Baltimore Style Crab Cakes

Yields about 8 Crab Cakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb Jumbo Lump Crab Meat        
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Dill        
  • 3 Tbs Miracle Whip      
  • 2 Tbs Dijon Mustard   
  • 1 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning        
  • 2 Tbs Grape Seed Oil        
  • 1/2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Lemons        
  • 1/2 Sleeve Ritz Crackers        
  • 1 Egg

DIRECTIONS: 

  • Combine Miracle Whip, Dijon Mustard, Old Bay, Egg, fresh Dill, and the zest of 1 Lemon to bowl and mix together
  • Grind Ritz Crackers in the food processor until the consistency is fine, set aside 
  • Fold wet mixture into crab meat, lightly mix using your hand, carefully making sure lumps of crab are in tact 
  • Gradually add in the Ritz crackers until you reach desired consistency (it's okay to have some crackers left over)
  • Use Ice Cream Scooper to form crab cakes
  • Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to allow crab cake to form 
  • Coat cookie sheet with the Grape Seed oil (preferred) or another cooking oil   
  • Place crab cakes on greased cookie sheet in broiler 
  • Broil approximately 10-12 minutes, until crab cake is lightly browned (check periodically, if browning too quickly, move to lower rack)

Serve alongside garlic crostini and arugula salad. Garnish with additional fresh lemon.

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