I know I haven’t had much presence on the interwebs in the last month or so because of my new job. It’s really only recently that I’ve felt inspired enough to actually do things other than eat, sleep, go to work, go to all the other extracurricular activities and commitments and occasionally go to the gym. It’s getting better as I slowly get into the rhythm of things and get used to getting up early. Today, I felt a bit more inspired to photograph this dinner that Mr. Bean made instead of just eating it and moving on, so I have a recipe to share.
Last Saturday, Mr. Bean and I went to a “locavore” restaurant in Calgary called The District. One of the items on the menu was a very delicious sounding “Venison, Mushroom, Tomato and Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese.” Mr. Bean ended up ordering something else (I couldn’t eat it regardless), but we decided that it sounded like something we would like to try making ourselves. Unfortunately, it sounded like something that wouldn’t really work as a weeknight meal (even though in the end, it took about 45 minutes to put it together), so we’d have to wait to try it on a weekend.
Fast forward to today: we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market to get some tasty carrots (WAAAAAY better than the ones you get at the grocery store) and decided to also pick up some ground elk and some Alberta made Gruyère cheese in hopes of making it for dinner tonight. It did not disappoint as it was very delicious! Not really a low-calorie meal, but it’s definitely perfect for a splurge that still comes with vegetables!
Fancy Elk, Mushroom and Tomato Gruyère Mac N’ Cheese
1/2+ lb. Ground elk (or other ground meat)
1 1/2 – 2 c. Mushrooms, diced (we used a mixture of white, Portobello and oyster mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1/3 – 1/2 c. each Cream and/or Milk
Salt and Pepper
1+ c. finely grated Gruyère cheese
1/2+ lb. brown rice noodles
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Heat up butter in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until reduced and cooked through. Remove from pan.
- In the same frying pan, cook up the ground meat until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, set a pot of salted water to boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- While browning the meat, heat up a few tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan. Mince the garlic and add to butter and cook until garlic starts to brown.
- Add cream and milk to butter and garlic and stir to combine. In a measuring cup, mix together 1 – 2 tbsp of cornstarch with cold water, then add to the milk mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness. Add more cornstarch if necessary.
- Stir in about 2/3 – 3/4 of the grated cheese until melted.
- Place the noodles, meat and mushroom mixture in the same pot that you cooked the noodles in. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until evenly coated.
- Spoon onto plates and serve with cut tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
Have you ever tried to recreate something you saw in a restaurant? How did it turn out?