Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese

Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

Aloha awesome friends! Did you know that tomorrow is pasta day? I promise to always give you plenty of excuses to eat awesomely!

In Hawaiian families, if there’s a celebration, there’s gotta be kalua pig. That’s the Hawaiian version of bbq pulled pork. Traditionally, it’s cooked in the ground, but Grandpa Bob only let Grandma Onie dig a giant hole in the backyard for very special occasions. Most of the time, you can make it in your own oven. There are basically two ingredients: pork and salt. Of course, if it’s Hawaiian sea salt, that makes it a million times better.

I still don’t have the recipe for my grandma’s kalua pig. Maybe someday somebody will actually write it down for me. But I swear, hers is the best. And she never ever fails to make way too much. I could eat this stuff slapped on a Hawaiian roll with a bit of barbecue sauce for the rest of my life, but sometimes it’s fun to make leftovers a little more exciting.

Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese is completely insane. The salty pork blends perfectly with the extra gooey cheese sauce. There’s a tiny hint of spicy sweetness from just a little barbecue sauce. And the extra awesome bit is that you’ll have leftovers of your leftovers. I halved the recipe this time, and we still ate this for three days.

It doesn’t have to be kalua pig. If you don’t live on the islands, you can use your favorite Southern bbq recipe. And it doesn’t have to be homemade pulled pork, either. Sometimes you can’t wait around for that special occasion to get your cheesy pig fix.

Kalua Pig Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

This dish is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready for hard core indulgence and seriously ono grindz, you’ve gotta try kalua pig mac and cheese. Now!

Kalua Pig Mac & Cheese
Serves 6
Salty kalua pig mixed with extra gooey mac and cheese is so ono!
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces short pasta
  2. 1/2 tablespoon butter
  3. 1/2 tablespoon flour
  4. 3/4 cup milk (I used skim and it was plenty rich)
  5. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  8. 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
  9. 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  10. 4 ounces kalua pig
  11. 1/8 cup barbecue sauce
Instructions
  1. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water according to package directions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then sprinkle the flour over it to create a roux. Whisk butter and flour together into a paste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Try to prevent lumps. Add garlic powder and cayenne. Let it thicken until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Stir in the cheese and mix until smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir kalua pig and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl.
  6. After you've drained your pasta, return it to the pot. Pour over the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Fold in kalua pig mixture. You can add pepper if you like, but taste it before adding any salt. You may not need it since the pig is so salty.
  7. Go ahead and unbutton your pants before you even get started.
Adapted from Healthy Delicious
Adapted from Healthy Delicious
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

I’m a picky eater. An obnoxiously picky eater. I don’t like fruits and vegetables. I’ve tried, but I just don’t like them. I like carbs and cheese. It’s how I’m built. Trust me when I say that I’ve actually expanded the things I will eat pretty extensively over the course of my adult life. It’s still fairly limited, though.

My husband, on the other hand, is only moderately picky. He’s also trying to lose weight, which means he gets slightly annoyed when I try to cook carbs and cheese. Lucky for him, I love love love to cook just about anything, whether I’m going to eat it or not. The act of cooking brings me plenty of joy. I don’t have to be the one putting it in my face.

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

This dish has some carbs and enough cheese to turn your head, but it’s also loaded with veggies, including tomatoes, onions, peppers and corn. There are also black beans, which might be a super food. Let’s say they are. They taste super, so even if they’re not as healthy as I would like to believe, they’re still awesome. And with fall finally starting to make its presence known in the form of more rain and afternoon highs in the low 80’s, layers of baked carbs, cheese, and veggies seem like exactly the right thing to do.

Since this dish is vegetarian, you can make it fairly inexpensively. I had to buy nearly every ingredient for this dish, and I spent less than $20. And this makes eight servings. My husband will be eating this for lunch and dinner for the next four days.

If you wanted to make this vegan, it could probably be done by using vegan cheese. You might need to check the labels on your beans and tortillas. I’m not an expert on this, but I think it’s totally feasible to adapt this recipe to be completely free of animal products, if that’s your thing.

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the ones you love. While my husband is eating and loving Mexican lasagna, I’ll probably be eating blue box mac and cheese. It’s a rough life. Eat your veggies, kids!

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 8
A lasagna-like stack of tortillas layered with salsa, black beans, corn, and cheese. Perfect vegetarian meal for a spicy fall night.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 bell pepper, whichever color is on sale
  5. 2 serrano peppers
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can petite diced tomatoes with peppers (any combination of 2 cans of tomatoes will do)
  9. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  10. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can whole kernel corn
  12. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 8 whole wheat tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and find your deepest round baking dish, 9 or 10 inches in diameter, at least 2-1/2 inches deep.
  2. Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your knife and peel the skin off. Toss the whole clove into a skillet with your olive oil and heat over medium. Don't forget to pull this out at the end. Chop your onion, and peppers and add them to the pan. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to cook and soften for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then fill each can about 1/4 of the way up with water. Swirl it around to get the tomatoey goodness off the side of the can, then add the water to the pan. Squeeze in the ketchup and allow it all to simmer together for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your filling by mixing together black beans, corn, and most of the cheese. Hold a bit back for the very top.
  5. Now it's time to assemble. Start with a few spoonfuls of sauce spread around the bottom of your pan, then lay down two tortillas, overlapping Venn diagram style. Next, add a third of the filling, and some more sauce. Repeat this two more times.
  6. Lay down tortillas 7 and 8 on the top. Spread the last of your sauce over these, then top the whole thing with some extra shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes. You will probably want to put a baking sheet underneath your pan to catch any drips.
  8. When the time is up, let your dish hang out for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice into wedges like a pie and serve it to your veggie loving friends and family.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Pumpkin Scones from Awesome on 20
Parmesan Fried Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

Okay kids, I’ve got another magically fast and ridiculously delicious recipe for you today. While it’s probably not as cheap as buying actual potatoes, sometimes what you save in time can be worth more than the money you spent. This one also comes from the brilliant Nigella Lawson. I’m never going to stop talking about how great she is, so just deal. 

Roasted potatoes, gorgeously browned, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, are a thing of pure beauty. The only trouble is, they take about an hour to make and heat up your house something awful because you have to leave your oven on at a high temp for a ridiculously long amount of time, and guess what, it’s already 90 degrees in your kitchen before you even get started and that just sucks. We’ve solved this problem. We’re going to secretly swap them out with something equally as awesome.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

You’re going to go to the store and buy a packet of premade gnocchi. I usually get one from the refrigerated pasta section that has a little packet of herbs and parmesan included. That’s my first choice. They didn’t have that yesterday, so I got plain gnocchi and improvised. It’ll be fine. Relax.

You’re going to get out the good olive oil, add about two tablespoons to a big skillet, let it get good and hot, and then dump those gnocchi in. Give them a good toss with your chefy wrist moves to coat them in the oil, cook them for about three minutes, flip them over, give them another three, then sprinkle that parm over the top and let that cook for another thirty seconds. Bam! You’re done.

And guess what you have on your plate? Gorgeously browned, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, absolutely beautiful and full of flavor fried gnocchi. It couldn’t possibly be easier. I was so surprised how great these were the first time I tried them, and everybody I’ve ever served them to has thought they were truly awesome.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

Go ahead. Cheat. Save yourself some time. I won’t tell. Especially if I can come over for dinner.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi
Serves 4
Gorgeously browned, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside fried gnocchi. The perfect quick alternative to roasted potatoes.
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Total Time
6 min
Total Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 package gnocchi
  3. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  4. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  5. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the gnocchi to the pan. Break up any gnocchi they might be stuck together and toss them in the oil.
  3. Sprinkle with oregano and red pepper.
  4. Cook for about three minutes, or until lovely and brown, then give them a flip.
  5. Brown gnocchi on the other side, then add cheese.
  6. Cook until cheese starts to get melty and crisp.
  7. Serve piping hot.
Notes
  1. If you can get the package with the parmesan cheese included, you're good to go. Just sprinkle the packet over your gnocchi at the end.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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