HOUSTON – Comfort food is always a big staple on local restaurant menus. Tanji Patton of Goodtaste TV shares how you can re-create some of your favorite local dishes at home and shares her twist on a classic Mac and Cheese recipe.
Ronnie Killen’s Meatloaf
This recipe was inspired by his grandmother.
His version features ground beef, onion, bell pepper, saltine crackers, Worcestershire, Ketchup, Eggs, salt and pepper.
You can find it on the menu at Killen’s of the Heights.
Kenny & Ziggy’s Famous Blintzes
This flaky and delicious treat is from a real-deal New York deli in Houston.
They top them with fresh fruit and just a little sour cream!
And you can’t talk comfort food without mentioning everyone’s favorite - Mac and Cheese!
Tanji and her team over at Goodtaste TV have crafted their own easy, no-roux recipe - using American Cheese to help bind the mix together.
Goodtaste’s Ultimate Mac N Cheese
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing
1 pound rigatoni or cavatappi
1 pint Half and half
4 ounces American cheese thinly sliced or shredded, about 6 slices
8 ounces mixed shredded cheese such as cheddar, gruyere or Swiss
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400° and butter a 3½-quart baking dish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until barely al dente, about 8 minutes. You want to slightly undercook your pasta so it does not fall apart in the oven. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot.
In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a bare simmer over moderate heat. Do NOT let it boil. Whisk in the American cheese, mixed shredded cheeses, mustard and 2 tablespoons of the butter until smooth and the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and gently stir to coat. Add pasta water ¼ cup at a time if the sauce is too thick. Scrape the mac-and-cheese into the prepared baking dish.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on HIGH until just melted, 15 to 30 seconds. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the breadcrumbs all over the top of the mac-and-cheese and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden and bubbling. Let cool slightly, then serve right away.
Watch “Goodtaste with Tanji” weekend mornings on KPRC 2 at 5:30am!