Mexican Style Chicken Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese1 mac2

Hello everyone hope you guys are doing well. Today I decided to make macaroni and cheese with a bit of a Mexican flare. The addition of the chicken and peppers turned this from a side dish to a meal in and of itself. The recipe is easy to follow and the dish takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish. As I was cooking this dish I realized that if you stop after step 4 and leave out the pasta you make an incredible queso dip, in fact I nearly split this recipe into two parts because the cheese sauce tasted so good. Have fun making it and I hope you enjoy it!

Mexican Style Chicken Mac and Cheese


New York Strip Steak with Guinness Truffle Sauce


Tonight I decided to experiment with a pan sauce for a steak. I seasoned the steak with kosher salt and crushed black pepper then cooked it in a frying pan in equal parts olive oil and butter. Then the fun started. there was no set recipe so I will just walk you through what I did. I first threw some finely chopped shallots into the pan and cooked them for about a minute until they were soft. I then deglazed the pan with Guinness and let it reduce down to about a spoonful. Next, I added beef stock to the pan and I also started salting to get the seasoning right. I let the Guinness and beef stock mixture reduce down to about 2/3 of a cup. I then added about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and some chopped fresh parsley to the sauce. I turned the heat down and let it simmer for about 2 minute. Finally I added a tablespoon of unsalted butter and about half a teaspoon of truffle butter. Once the butter melted i stirred the sauce and salted one last time. The sauce was very rich and flavorful and complemented the steak quite well. I’m becoming more and more a fan of making pan sauces because it lets you get creative with building flavors to compliment a main dish.

Spanish Dinner

chickpeas and spinach Rosemary White Beans Porkloin

On Sunday I decided to experiment with some Spanish dishes. I was inspired to attempt these dishes by a dinner I had at Amada in Philadelphia. The highlight of the meal was the rosemary white beans, they had an great bacon flavor and turned out very well for a  first attempt. The chick peas and spinach looked incredible and tasted just as good. The rub on the brined pork tenderloin had a great flavor and the brining process left the meat moist and delicious. You can find the recipes below:

Rosemary White Beans

Spanish Style Brined Pork Tenderloin

Chick Peas and Spinach

Welcome to the SmartChef Blog!

ImageHello everyone and welcome to my blog, SmartChef. My name is Greg and I enjoy cooking, a lot. I started this blog so I can share my recipe ideas and other culinary adventures with friends, family, and other foodies who may stumble across the blog. I like to skip around with what I cook so I will not be focusing on any one particular type of cuisine. If I find something interesting I usually make an attempt at it and go from there. Some things work, others fail miserably, but I feel that’s the only way to learn what works. I will try to update the blog as much as possible with different recipes that I try or a restaurant review here and there. I hope you enjoy the blog and get some ideas for new recipes from it.