Rania’s Recipes: Cheesy Bacon Mac And Chicken & Salad

Rania Harris stopped by PTL to show off a couple of dishes that you can make ahead of time for a post-Halloween Trick-or-Treat night dinner!

Cheesy Bacon Mac and Chicken

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni ~ cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups whole milk – heated just to a simmer ~ do not boil
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 boneless and skinless grilled chicken thighs – diced
  • 8 slices crisp cooked peppered thick sliced bacon ~ crumbled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat broiler

In a large pot, melt butter. Remove two tablespoons of the butter and combine with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside.

Into the remaining melted butter in the pot, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Whisk in the hot milk, gradually, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles. Add the Gruyere cheese, the cheddar cheese and Dijon Mustard. Whisk until the cheeses melt and the mixture is smooth. Add in the cooked macaroni, grilled diced chicken thighs and bacon and continue to cook until the macaroni is well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture into a 3-quart buttered casserole and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the casserole under the broiler until the crumbs turn a golden brown. Serve immediately.

Serves: 8

If you wish to make this recipe ahead, you can bake the casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 – 35 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Baby Kale, Avocado and Toasted Pepita Salad

  • 10 cups baby organic kale,
  • ½ cup toasted pepitas
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • 2 avocados

Cider Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Put the kale leaves, pepitas and dried cherries into a large salad bowl.

Halve the avocados and then remove the stones. Spoon out the flesh over the salad leaves and pumpkin seeds.

Cider Vinaigrette:
Whisk vinegar, mustard and honey in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Dress over the salad, using just enough of the vinaigrette as needed to lightly coat the leaves. Gently toss everything together using your hands. Take care not to crush the avocado pieces.

Serves: 6

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