Dan Whalen, dubbed the mad scientist of all things comfort food and the man behind the wildly popular blog, The Food In My Beard ,released his debut book, Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook this month. It is unlike any comfort food recipe collection I have come across. This book features recipes for pumped up comfort foods that have all have been stuffed and transformed into new and different, and ultimately better, versions of their former selves.
I’ve teamed up with several bloggers on a Book Recipe Tour for Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook to recreate one of the ultimate stuffed recipes found in the book. Be sure to keep an eye out for the other blogs below to find a fabulous version of a stuffed recipe from now through mid- February.
The book is divided into 5 main chapters, split up by what is being stuffed- Stuffed Breads, Stuffed Pasta and Rice, Stuffed Veggies and Fruit, Stuffed Meats, and Stuffed Sweets. Some of the mouthwatering 112 recipes include Lobster Stuffed Fried Mac and Cheese Balls, Cheeseburger Ravioli Burger, Chicken Tikka Masala Ravioli, Cheesesteak Stuffed Soft Pretzel Calzones, Lamb Vindaloo Stuffed Onions, Avocado Eclairs, and a Giant Peanut Butter Cup.
Each recipe features a heat number and pig-out number. The pig-out number is a fun measure for your “stuffed” gluttony (vs. a calorie counter!) and the heat number tells you just how hot the peppers and spices are- so you can prepare for what you can handle. There are fun photos throughout along with clear instructions for each recipe.
Tonight we made the Mac and Cheese Chile Rellenos. Traditionally, rellenos are stuffed with cheese, but Dan thought to actually stuff them with Mac and Cheese for this brilliant twist on an old favorite. They were just the right amount of heat combined with gooey cheesy goodness and I could see these being very addictive! Serve these up at your next party with a pint of beer and you’ll have some happy guests! I’d make more than this recipe calls for and slice in half so everyone can see the filling. They are a bit time consuming, but each step makes the end result well worth the effort!
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup (35 g) pickled nacho jalapenos
- 1 tomato
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cherry peppers, diced
- ½ pound (225 g) elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons (21 g) flour
- 1 ½ cups (355 ml) milk
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- 5 ounces (140 g) Cheddar cheese
- 5 ounces (140 g) Monterey Jack cheese
- Vegetable oil
- 8 poblano peppers
- 2 cups (240 g) flour
- 2 cups (230 g) breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Make the Mac and Cheese: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Chop the bacon into ½-inch (1.3-cm) squares. Mince the garlic. Roughly chop the jalapeños and tomatoes.
- In a Dutch oven with just a splash of olive oil, cook the bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes, and remove it from the pot. Let drain on paper towels. In the remaining bacon fat, cook the onion and peppers for about 5 minutes, until they start to brown. While the veggies cook, be sure to continually scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the browned bits incorporated with the food and not stuck to the pot. This would be a good time to get your pasta cooking. Add the minced garlic and butter to the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes, until the butter is melted. Mix in the flour and cook, stirring often, until the roux is slightly darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Pour in the milk, whisking until smooth, and bring to a light simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard powder. Strain the pasta and put it directly into the milk mixture. Slowly add the cheeses and stir well until melted. Add the tomatoes, bacon and jalapeños and stir. Cool the pasta down to at least room temperature before stuffing the peppers.
- Prepare the Peppers: Turn your broiler to high heat and position the oven rack right below it. Lightly oil and salt the poblano peppers and place them on a sheet pan. Broil on all sides until the skin is lightly charred and blistered. Put the peppers into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, set up your breading station by putting the flour, breadcrumbs and beaten eggs into 3 separate shallow bowls. Take the poblanos out of the bowl and gently peel them. Remove the tops and scrape the insides out with a fork.
- Stuff It!: Stuff the peppers with the cooled pasta mixture. We want extra breading on the peppers to help hold them together, so we are going to do a triple layer. Start by coating the pepper in the flour and shaking the excess off. Then dip it into the egg and again let the excess drip off. Repeat these steps in the flour and the egg 2 more times. Finally, coat very well in the breadcrumbs.
- Cook It: Shallow-fry the peppers in 1 inch (2.5 cm) of vegetable oil to brown on all sides.
Click the cover or the title to get your copy of Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook today!
Be sure to check out some of the other recipes and blogs on this deliciously Stuffed tour-
22 http://www.mangotomato.com/– Tuna Nicoise Stuffed Olives
24 http://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/ – Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites
27 http://www.macheesmo.com – Cheeseburger Slider Steamed Bun
28 http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ – Meatball Wellington
29 http://gigglesgobblesandgulps.com – Mac and Cheese Chile Rellenos
30 http://pastrychefonline.com – Cuban Empanada
31 http://www.cravingsofalunatic.com – Cheeseburger Ravioli Burger
3 http://soufflebombay.blogspot.com – Giant Peanut Butter Cup
4 http://asianinamericamag.com – Korean Burritos
5 http://www.karenskitchenstories.com – Chorizo Kale and Chicken Stuffed Poblanos
6 http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com – Cherry Pie Stuffed Chocolate Cake
7 http://girlinthelittleredkitchen.com – Chicken Pretzington
17 http://www.thisamericanbite.com/ – Caprese Summer Rolls
Disclosure: I was asked to join the blog tour and recreate a recipe from Dan Whalen’s book and will receive a review copy for my efforts. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains links to my Amazon store- so if you purchase the book through my site, I’ll also make a little something from the sale and will be forever thankful!