Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


I am really gonna need that recipe. That sounds wonderful, and this is the first winter I think I can afford to cook something like that, haha


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It’s actually very simple. It was a recipe from Hubert Keller during Season 1 of Top Chef Masters. For some reason, a few years ago Bravo took it down and most the other sites did too. I don’t know if he put it in a cookbook or what but he did this recipe on the fly for a challenge.

Thank you Bravo Tv! A winning dish from the premier episode of Top Chef Masters, Hubert Keller’s macaroni and cheese with prawns (or shrimp) and mushrooms recipe, prepared by charming Top Chef Fabio Viviani from Café Firenze and chef Michael Demers of Veloce Cibo restaurant.

Creamy Mac and Cheese with Prawns, Mushrooms and Fresh Herbs
Chef Hubert Keller
Top Chef Masters, Season 1, Episode 1, Elimination Challenge Winner

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 quart cream
  • 4 ounces half and half
  • 1 cup white mushroom, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup Swiss cheese
  • 2 pounds prawns, diced
  • 1 pounds cooked pasta
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 5 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 6 egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, add butter, carrot, onion and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cream, salt and pepper and simmer until it gets thicker (10 to 15 minutes). Add the mushroom and Swiss cheese, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the prawns and pasta and mix gently until very hot. Fold into the whipped cream the parsley and egg yolks. Season with salt.

Transfer Mac & Cheese into bowl and cover lip with the whip cream mix.

I use as big of prawns as I am willing to pay for which brings up the cost quite a bit. I don’t even really like Swiss cheese either but I buy a big Jarlsberg wedge from Costco for this (yes I know slightly different).

Your recipe reminds of an Irish dish, I think they top if with mashed potatoes instead. Lady’s Movie Night, Irish style is coming, maybe I’ll make two small casseroles, one top with cornbread and the other potatoes. We ladies do like options, and I thin corn bread on top would be great.

update: added someone’s visual, I think it was the original pic from Bravo


Holy shit that recipe is insane but beautiful. So much cream! And I think I’d do like you and swap out the cheese; that much Swiss on its own would be a little intense for our tastes.

And hey, shepherd’s pie/cottage pie is delicious, and honestly not too hard to put together. I’d make it more, but my gf doesn’t care for ground beef or lamb, alas.

But with the chowder, yeah, the cornbread is a really good accompaniment. I have some green beans and also ingredients for a fancy lil salad ( that I just haven’t had time to make yet to kinda provide more choices/options.

Chowder was kinda done by the seat of my pants based on hazy memories of recipes I’d read before because I was feeling frisky and decided to wing it. I’ll try to recall what I think I did for those interested.

  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter (I would increase this to 6)
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour (I would increase this to 5)
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay
  • 3 1/2 cups Seafood Broth
  • 1 1/2 lbs Baby Red Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium Carrots, diced
  • 1 can Whole Corn Kernels
  • 1 1/2 lbs Frozen Shrimp, thawed/rinsed (if you don’t rinse off the freezer gunk, you can seriously water down a soup)
  • 1 1/2 cups Half n Half
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parsley, chopped

Melt the butter in a big stockpot or Dutch oven over medium low heat, then stir in the flour and cook for about a minute or so to a blonde roux. Add in the onions and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add in the garlic and cook another minute, then add in the salt, pepper, Old Bay, and seafood broth. Bring it to a simmer and add in the potatoes and cook about 5-6 minutes, then add in the carrots and cook about 4-5 more minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are almost done. Add in the corn and shrimp and cook about 3-4 minutes until the shrimp’s cooked through. Stir in the half and half and cheddar with the heat on low, just till it’s melted in, then mix in the parsley and serve.


I’ve made shepherd’s pie a few times(beef version). The one I am referring to has seafood, and it’s called… funny enough, Fisherman’s Pie!

Yeah the thing that takes me the longest are the shrimp. You have to dethaw them and the I buy the EZ Shell kind at Fred Meyer because they’ve tasted the best so far. It’s too much work to have your recipe ruined by dog food tasting Shrimp. And so much cutting and dicing for this. Chop Chop!

Shrimp, butter, heavy cream, and Jarlsberg can make this recipe easily cost more than some people budget for a week. of course after I use up half a dozen eggs and am left with egg whites, I always want to meringue something but I pretty much never do.

Hazy memories are the best. My dad makes killer spaghetti and it’s all in his head. I asked for the recipe once… it started something like 4 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of Italian sausage or stew meat… and I was like dad, that’s 6 lbs of meat… do you have maybe a normal size version.

I’ll have to try this chowder of yours. Maybe I’ll go prawn crazy during their next sale, and I can do both dishes!


The what now?


Broccoli Beef, Americanized Chinese recipe. I actually had Chinese in Japan, and it was there too.


Sometimes the beef in this is just gross, to me.


That beef often gets the velvetting treatment of baking soda, cornstarch, and rice wine that @Timex and others were going nuts about a few hundred posts up. I like the technique, too, but if you really dislike pastey, soft beef, I imagine it must be horrible


I like it sometimes, and sometimes a lot. It’s either a prep difference or a cut difference or maybe both. I am not sure which. I’ve never had it at someone’s home though where I liked it, only at some restaurants.


Ah, I thought you were talking about a cut.


That’s cottage pie.


D’oh, sorry, I misunderstood you there. I just had the cornbread as a side, but yeah, I have seen that fisherman’s pie you’re talking about. Jamie Oliver has a curried version of it up on YouTube I really wanna try, but damn, it requires like four or so pounds of different seafoods… Pricey!


Not in the USA. Unless the menu specifically says lamb, in the USA ,you’re going to get beef. I guess there might be an exception in area with a heavy Irish population.


It’s extremely hit or miss in my experience. Which is too bad because a good Beef and Broccoli is high on my list of Chinese dishes, but you’re always playing roulette with the beef.


What kind of maniac calls it “broccoli beef”?!


Made a spinach salad with feta, dried cranberries, sliced apples, and toasted pecans, drizzled with a maple-cider vinaigrette. Then made some spicy chicken tenders (marinated in a hot-sauce-and-buttermilk mixture with loads of spices and herbs, then tossed in seasoned flour and fried). Also made simple creamy slaw with cabbage, carrots, and a mayo-based sauce. And finally a twice-baked potato with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions :)

Tasty supper times


I’ve been taking cooking classes at Sur La Table here lately. Something to do on the weekends during this time of the year when not as much is going on. I’ll probably have at least one more before the end of the year. I’ve taken two with my GF and one alone. Once you take one, you can use the class discount on booking another (20% off) so that’s generally the best method to save a little on the cost if you enjoy them.

They are a fun way to learn something new, though some seem costly since you don’t make anything you take home really. The hot meals aren’t allowed to be taken out, since it’s something of a health code kind of thing. But apparently the baking/desert classes allow that. I don’t know the full rules there. The groups are small, and in one case, it was just my GF and I in the class so we had a blast. We are thinking of stepping it up a notch and taking something at our local culinary school, Johnson & Wales. They offer several one-day or weekend style classes, but unfortunately they fill up quite quickly.

At any rate, pics from yesterday’s dishes, “Fall Soups and Stews.”

Cioppino seafood stew - the best of the three for the day for me, I LOVED the tastes that came through in it. I’ve never cooked with fennel root, nor really made a stew with seafood, so seeing just how well this came out makes me want to try more cooking like this.

Creamy Tuscan white bean stew (roasted red pepper tapenade) - A little strange for me because I’d never had a soup that you add something akin to a tapenade to. I thought the soup stood well on its own, so I’m not sure why there was a need to top it.The greens are kale, which I don’t think I’ve ever put into a soup, so it was a unique recipe, for me anyway.

Classic French onion soup - nitpic time. Our instructor did the final ladles of everything to the small bowls and loaded it with a big fat piece of crisp bread (as a crouton) and way too much gruyere cheese. It saddened me a lot because this tasted AMAZING prior to that point. As part of the class they move you through the preparation quickly, so the final item was done to the side by her, while we were working on the seafood stew. I had to dig down and flip up some of the onions just to get some into the picture. :(

As you finish the classes you get recipes for all the things you cook in the class. At the end of the class you eat with your fellow students, a part I really enjoy. Everyone generally talks about the other classes, or cooking, etc. It’s a good group sharing session.


That seafood stew made me wish I didn’t live in the middle of a continent.


No doubt. We have a good butcher in town with an excellent selection of fish. But apart from being hugely expensive, it just feels wrong.

That’s a nice looking stew. Mussels, shrimp, and a white fish of some kind?


Cod was the white fish. It tasted fantastic. We subbed chicken stock instead of seafood stock, which can be hard to find. You’d have never known, since the seafood in the recipe gave it the flavor you wanted anyway. I’m omitting the "grilled bread’ part of this recipe, it seems strange to reprint how to make grilled bread.

Cioppino Seafood Stew
Yield: 6 servings

Mussels are sometimes open when you buy them. This is natural but the shell should close tightly when tapped. If not, the mollusk is dead and must be discarded. Do not store live shellfish in a plastic bag. Instead, transfer to a bowl, cover with a damp towel, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking. To remove the beard, the filaments on the sides of the shell used to attach the mussels to rocks, hold the mussel upright and use your fingers to pull firmly down towards the hinge. Remove the beards just before cooking.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices reserved
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups seafood stock, plus more as needed
1 1/2 pounds white fish such as red snapper or cod, skin and bones removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 pound mussels, scrubbed and beards removed

To prepare cioppino: To a large saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add oil. When oil is shimmering, add onion and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add oregano, pepper flakes, fennel seeds, and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes with the juices, tomato paste, and seafood stock; bring to a simmer. Cook until the stew begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.

Gently stir in the white fish and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and mussels, gently stirring into the stew. Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the pan. Cook until the mussels open and the shrimp is opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the lid and discard any unopened mussels. If the stew seems too thick, add additional stock or hot water and thin to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Arrange an even portion of fish, shrimp, and mussels in 4 warmed serving bowls. Pour the stew over the seafood and serve with grilled bread.