My passion for community involvement is as strong as my passion for creating mouthwatering masterpieces. I take all the programs I participate in very seriously and am involved in programs I feel truly make a difference. It is my great pleasure to participate in the Annual Veggie U Food & Wine Celebration again this summer.
The event is this Saturday, July 16, 2011, on the grounds of The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, OH. I am honored to be a part of an unsurpassed lineup of more than 30 of the nation’s top chefs who will also don their whites ready to serve up spectacular fare to guests to support the Veggie U a not-for-profit organization. Since 2003 I have been involved with the Earth to Table™ science curriculum for fourth grade and special needs classrooms.
I have submitted a easy to make family-friendly recipe to the events Family Table cook book.
Peas & Carrots Mac ‘n Cheese
Serves 4-6 guests
1 tsp olive oil
½ shallot, minced
2 cups milk, whole or 2%
¼ cup cream
3 ½ cups white cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp cold water
1 ½ tbsp corn starch
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground white pepper
10 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 lb pasta (whole grain fusilli or penne), pre-cooked 8-10 minutes
1 cup fresh peas, shelled
1 cup farmers baby carrots, cut into disks and blanched
½ cup diced ham (can substitute sautéed turkey)
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp butter
• Heat of thick bottom 4 qt sauce pan over medium heat, add oil and sauté shallots for 2 minutes until translucent.
• Add milk and cream to pan and bring to a slow boil.
• Mix 3 tbsp cold water and corn starch. Turn down the heat and whisk into the milk. Continue whisking for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened.
• Add 3 ¼ cups grated cheese slowly to the sauce and whisk until cheese sauce is smooth.
• Add salt, nutmeg, ground white pepper and Tabasco Sauce.
• Mix in the cooked pasta.
• Cut the baby carrots in discs and blanch in salt water for 1 minute then cool immediately in an ice bath and drain.
• Add the fresh peas, blanched carrots and diced ham.
• Place pasta and vegetable mixture into a 6 quart baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
• Melt butter and mix with bread crumbs. Cover the top of the dish with the bread crumbs and bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until top is bubbly and beginning to brown.