Sunday, May 31, 2009

Potato & Cauliflower Dal With Spicy Shallots (Crockpot recipe)

1 cup yellow split peas
2 Tbs clarified butter or vegetable oil
4 Tbs dried minced onion
4 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced gingerroot
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock or water
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups frozen cauliflower florets

2 Tbs clarified butter or vegetable oil
2 long French shallots, thinly sliced, or 8 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp finely chopped chili pepper
1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar or lemon juice

1) Soak peas in 6 cups water overnight or for 4 hours at room temperature. Drain and rinse and set aside.
2) In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Place potatoes, cauliflower and soaked peas in slow cooker stoneware. Pour onion mixture over and stir well.
3) Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, until vegetables are tender.
4) Spicy Shallots: In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until crisp. Remove pan from heat. Stir in chiles, cilantro and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a small bowl. Ladle dal into individual bowls, top with Spicy Shallots and stir well.

Review: Well, our local grocery store doesn't carry yellow split peas or long French shallots, so I used regular split peas and regular shallots. We weren't wowed by this. I think mostly because we cooked it on LOW for 8 hours and it still ended up really mushy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mushroom Stroganoff

1 1/2 lbs mixed fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, chanterelles, and oyster
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs cold water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
cooked rice to serve

1) Put the mushrooms, onion, garlic, stock, tomato paste and lemon juice into a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
2) Blend the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl and stir into the mushroom mixture. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat and let simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
3) Just before serving, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the yogurt, making sure that the stroganoff is not boiling or it may separate and curdle. Stir in 2 Tbs of the parsley and season with pepper. Transfer the stroganoff to a warmed serving dish, sprinkle over the remaining parsley, and serve at once with rice.

Review: I made this with my special Costco dried mushroom mix. I also served it over bulgur to lower the carb count. This was an odd recipe, as I'm used to using sour cream, not yogurt for stroganoff. However, this seemed to work and it was yummy. This didn't have a "wow" flavor, but was edible and filling at the minimum.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sushi Night

Three years ago tonight, I met my husband for the first time. We had sushi at Miso, in downtown New Haven. It was Memorial Day in 2006. We went back to Miso the night we got engaged (September 1, 2007). So, in honor of the day, we made sushi at home tonight. We came up with a great new combination for filling - avocado, asparagus and cream cheese. Mmm. And, we made so much that we're having sushi for breakfast tomorrow!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Marinated Navy Beans & Zucchini

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 (15 oz) cans navy or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2 dill pickles, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
dark green lettuce leaves for serving (optional)

1) In large bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, parsley and lemon juice until well blended.
2) Add beans, pickle, zucchini, bell pepper and scallion and toss gently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve over lettuce leaves or cover and refrigerate up to 1 hour.

Review: I made this last night and let it refrigerate for 24 hours. It was delicious. I was saddened by how little it made, as Mike and I both went back for seconds and then didn't have enough for lunches the next day (though we still had paella!).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Artichoke Paella

1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 Tbs hot water
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs dried minced onion
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
15 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 1/2 cups medium-grain paella rice
5 1/2 cups simmering vegetable stock
8 oz green beans, blanched
salt and pepper

1) Put the saffron threads and water in a small bowl and let infuse for a few minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat the oil in a paella pan and cook the onion and zucchini over medium heat, stirring for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, cayenne pepper and saffron (and it's water), and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and artichokes, and cook, stirring, for an additional 2 minutes.
3) Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the rice is glossy and coated. Pour in most of the hot stock and bring to a boil, then let simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Do not stir during cooking, but shake the pan once or twice. Add the green beans and season. Shake the pan and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the rice grains are plump and cooked. If the liquid is absorbed too quickly, pour in a little more hot stock, then shake the pan to spread the liquid through the paella.
4) When all the liquid has been absorbed and you detect a faint toasty aroma coming from the rice, remove from the heat immediately to prevent burning. Cover the pan with a clean dish towel or foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve direct from the pan.

Review: As I type this, I realize I forgot to add the green beans. Oops. I used bulgur instead of rice, which halved the cooking time and almost halved the amount of stock needed. I guess I skipped the second half of 3) and forgot about the poor beans. This was yummy even without them and made 6 bowls of food!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Warm Red Lentil Salad With Goat Cheese

2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
1 1/2 cups split red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
7 oz baby spinach leaves
1 tsp hazelnut oil
5 1/2 oz soft goat cheese
4 Tbs strained plain yogurt

1) Heat half the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds, garlic and gingerroot, and cook for 2 minuts, stirring constantly.
2) Stir in the lentils, then add the stock, a ladleful at a time, until is is all absorbed, stirring constantly - this will take about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
3) Toss the spinach in the hazelnut oil in a bowl, then divide among 4 serving plates.
4) Mash the goat cheese with the yogurt in a small bowl and season with pepper.
5) Divide the lentils among the serving plates and top with the goat cheese mixture.

Review: I changed a few things. I realized while making this that I didn't have cilantro or mint in my freezer anymore. After eating this without those flavors, I can't imagine using them! I also don't have hazelnut oil and doubted it would be a useful purpose. Therefore, I bought a handful of hazelnuts, chopped them and added them to the goat cheese mixture. This was such a delicious recipe! I thought it would be odd when I read it, but after eating it, I was upset that I didn't have more! Though, it made about 4 servings. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Braised Celery Root With Chickpeas & Saffron

2 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 pinch saffron
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
4 cups diced, peeled, celery root
2 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs drained capers
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1) Bring 1 cup broth to a boil in small saucepan. Stir in saffron, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
2) Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 cup vegetable broth, saffron-broth mixture, celery root, chickpeas, capers and red pepper flakes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until celery root cubes are tender when pierced with tip of knife. Stir in pine nuts and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper; and sprinkle with parsley.

Review: Mike was convinced celery root was going to be another one of those things that isn't found in Idaho. Personally, I think it's odd to have celery root and not escarole, but what do I know? This had to be the ugliest produce we've ever bought. We had to peel it by shaving off the sides with a large knife. The consistency of the root reminded us of styrofoam. So, we were hesitant to actually try this, but we were pleasantly surprised. It tastes mildly of celery, with an interesting (almost perfumey) aftertaste. I loved this dish, though. I also altered it, as it calls for an entire gram of saffron. With the bargain I got in CT, that would have been $8 worth of spices. On average, we're talking about close to $20 worth of spice. That's outlandish and using a pinch was enough to flavor the dish nicely.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spaghetti With Spinach & Mushrooms

1 box spaghetti, broken into thirds
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs harissa, or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp saffron threads
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb spinach, coarsely chopped
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Place pasta on baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan once or twice to brown evenly.
2) Bring vegetable broth, 3 cups of water, tomato paste, harissa and saffron to a simmer in saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and keep warm.
3) Heat large stockpot over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in pasta and 2 cups hot broth. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add spinach, chickpeas and remaining broth. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes more, or until noodles are tender and most of broth is absorbed, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Review: This had a yummy nutty taste from baking the spaghetti. The dish was also pretty easy to make. I was fortunate enough to find cheap saffron (I didn't think it was possible!) at the New Canaan Food Emporium for $3.97!!! So, there will be several upcoming saffron recipes. And, I have no idea what harissa is (and just knew there would be no point in looking for it in Idaho), so I used red pepper flakes. Mmmm, yummy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black Bean & Mozzarella Bowl

1/4 cup smoked tomato vinaigrette
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
8 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1) In a large bowl, combine vinaigrette, beans, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2) Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and pan-roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir corn and remaining ingredients into black bean mixture and toss together.
3) Chill until ready to serve. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

Review: I've never seen smoked tomato vinaigrette, and I still haven't seen it. I simply omitted the "dressing" portion of the recipe. I instead tossed the seasonings with a bit of olive oil to coat the veggies. So, this was kind of bland. It probably would have been better with the vinaigrette, but Idaho seems to lack a few options. :(

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spaghetti With Golden Garlic, Tomatoes & Sage

1 pkg spaghetti
3 Tbs olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled, halved, and sliced
1 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs fresh chopped sage
2 Tbs chopped kalamata olives

1) Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente.
2) Heat oil and garlic in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, sage and olives, and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3) Drain spaghetti, and return to pot. Add sauce, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Review: This had an interesting taste, due to the browned garlic (and an interesting smell). Ultimately I enjoyed it, though slicing the garlic was a bit tedious.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Garden Lasagna

2 Tbs olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
3 Tbs dried minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 more minced (keep separate)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
24 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 medium yellow squash, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup dried mixed mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella and Parmesan (mixed) cheese
1 box lasagna noodles

1) Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2) Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
3) Prepare tomato sauce: Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add dried oregano, basil and parsley and stir. Add crushed tomatoes and salt and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 minced clove of garlic and thyme. Place zucchini on a sheet pan and brush with olive oil mixture, just until covered. Keep remaining mixture set aside, and add yellow squash to the bowl to marinate while the zucchini bakes. Bake zucchini until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
5) Place marinated yellow squash onto sheet pan and bake until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
6) Place 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it around. Create a bottom layer for the lasagna, using most of the zucchini. Then layer 3 lasagna noodles on top of the zucchini.
7) On the bottom lasagna noodle, spread 1 cup of the ricotta cheese. Then spread the remaining zucchini and 1/4 of the mushrooms. Cover with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Layer 3 more lasagna noodles.
8) On top of this lasagna noodle, spread the yellow squash and 1/4 of the mushrooms. Sprinkle 1 cup of the grated cheese mix over the vegetables. Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
9) On top of this lasagna noodle, spread the remaining ricotta cheese, followed by the remaining mushrooms. Top with 1/4 cup of the sauce and then 3 more lasagna noodles.
10) On this last lasagna noodle layer, spread the remaining tomato sauce. Then, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese mix. Cover with a cooking spray coated sheet of aluminum foil (to keep the cheese from sticking) and bake for 35 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese browns. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Review: I changed the original recipe so much, that it became it's own, new recipe! The original didn't use lasagna noodles, using portobello mushrooms instead. I figured that would make for a sloppy, and expensive, lasagna. So, I once again used the Costco mushroom mix that I've fallen in love with and mixed around a few things (including doubling the cheese). And I accidentally forgot to add the last bit of mushrooms, so they were tossed on top. The end product was pretty phenomenal. The mushroom mix gave quite an interesting taste. And there was no shortage of veggies!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mushroom Casserole

1/2 lb brown mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 Tbs dried chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature (or your favorite grain)
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a bit of fresh tarragon, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil or butter and set aside.
2) In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms in a glug of olive oil sprinkled with a couple of pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and salt.
4) Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined and then turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes more or until hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped tarragon, and the remaining Parmesan and enjoy.

Reality: I used the dried mushrooms from Costco, so we had quite the exotic addition. I also used bulgur instead of rice, to make it low-carb. And, I misread the last line and added Parsley instead of Parmesan. Overall, it was a yummy dish, despite my husband's comment about "snottage cheese."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring Stroganoff

1 lb wide egg noodles
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced into small chunks
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1 10 oz box frozen peas
1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon
ground black pepper

1) Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil the pasta. When the water reaches a bubble, salt it, drop the pasta in and cook to al dente according to package directions. Just before draining the pasta, reserve a mug of starchy cooking water then drain and reserve.
2) While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil, about 2 Tbs. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the asparagus and green beans to the pan and continue cooking for another minute.
3) Push the veggies to the sides of the pan to make a well and drop in the butter to melt. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock, mustard, reserved mug of pasta water (about 1/2 cup) and sour cream to the pan and whisk to combine.
4) Add the peas and spinach to the pan and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta, dill, parsley and lemon juice to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Review: I'm a growing fan of having more veggies than pasta in my dinner. I used a whole pound of frozen cut green beans and used fresh spinach (it wilts less than the frozen stuff). Mike was a big fan of the dish, noting it was "green." It was yummy and had a great flavor. I really liked the addition of dill.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Wild About Mushrooms" Sauce With Pasta, Arugula & Hazelnuts

1 box gemelli or penne pasta
salt and pepper
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean and sliced
1/2 lb shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, finely chopped
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 tsp allspice
Pecorino Romano or other sheep's milk cheese, grated
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
2 cups arugula leaves, shredded
a drizzle of truffle oil

1) Bring water to a boil and salt it for the pasta.
2) Place dried porcini mushrooms in a small pot with the stock and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and steep until mushrooms are completely tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3) In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, portobellos, shitakes, thyme, allspice and some black pepper. Cook 10-12 minutes until mushrooms are dark and tender.
4) Remove half the mushrooms and place them in a food processor. Add a cup of the porcini mushroom-stock broth to the processor, grind into a thick sauce and add liquid back to the skillet.
5) Remove the porcinis from the stock with a slotted spoon, chop and add to the skillet. Ladle in remaining stock, discarding the last few spoonfuls at the bottom of the pot where the grit from the mushrooms has settled. Season the sauce with salt to taste and remove thyme stems.
6) Drain pasta when it's al dente and add it to the mushroom sauce to absorb flavor. Add a couple handfuls of Pecorino and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings, spoon into bowls and top with nuts, shredded arugula and more cheese. Drizzle a little truffle oil over it.

Review: This recipe was basically a guide for my cooking. I bought the dried mushrooms from Costco ($15), so it was a mix of fancy mushrooms. This dish included morels, even! I used a fourth of the container, which means I got a great discount on this dish!! I cooked them in 2 cups of broth, and didn't send any through the food processor. I used dried thyme, probably about 1/2 tsp and left it in. I also used baby arugula (the only arugula available at our grocery store), so I didn't shred it. I also used Parmesan at the end, as we can buy that pre-shredded. And, of course, I used truffle oil, which was described in the original recipe as optional. I still have tons of it and use it whenever possible! So, this dish as AMAZING. I really liked it, but then again, both Mike and I are huge fans of mushrooms. Mmmmm.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Caprese Lasagna

2 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
half a bunch (about 30 leaves) basil, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1) Preheat oven to 375F.
2) Place a large saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add garlic to pan and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture and bring up to a bubble. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
3) Assemble the lasagna by ladling a small amount (about 1/4 cup, just eyeball it) of the sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and laying 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top the noodles with a third of the sliced tomatoes, a third of the basil, 1/4 cup of sauce and a third of the shredded cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, topping the lasagna off with a final layer of sauce and shredded cheese.
4) Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. When ready to serve, top with remaining chopped basil leaves.

Review: Once again, I'm not so good with following directions. I didn't have any leftover basil to sprinkle on the top. Oh well. This was a flat lasagna, at least compared to our past lasagnas. But, it was yummy and fairly easy to make. Our whole home smells like basil at the moment, due to the preparation and sending the stalks down the garbage disposal. It could be worse, though.

Made again on 3/20/2011, but this time I ensured there would be basil on top!  Mike enjoyed arranging the leaves. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baked Penne With Cheddar & Leeks

1/4 cup butter
2 leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 lb extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 large eggs
1 lb penne pasta

1) Lightly butter 15x10x2 inch baking dish.
2) Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks; stir to coat. Cover saucepan and cook until leeks are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes (do not brown). Uncover saucepan; add flour. Stir 2 minutes. Add milk; bring to simmer, stirring often. Add cheese, mustard and pepper sauce. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Season cheese sauce to taste with salt.
3) Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1 cup cheese sauce. (Careful when adding the hot cheese sauce to the eggs; you'll need to whisk the sauce in slowly so that the eggs don't curdle.) Stir egg mixture into cheese sauce in saucepan. Preheat oven to 400F.
4) Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot.
5) Stir cheese sauce into pasta in pot. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake pasta until cheese sauce is bubbling around edges and some ends of pasta are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Review: I've always been a fan of Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar, but not only does Idaho lack Cabot cheese, we can't find extra-sharp cheddar. So, we had to settle for plain old sharp, which just isn't the same. This dish was basically a fancy mac 'n cheese. The sauce was more than we needed, or had room for (a cup went down the drain). The dijon mustard adds an interesting flavor. I can imagine this would be AMAZING with extra-sharp cheese, but with sharp it was simply yummy.