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Diehard "American Idol" viewers will remember Sarah Sellers as the geek-chic food blogger who made it to Hollywood Week last year. (Watch her Season 10 audition here.) Sarah has since continued her food-blogging, and has been cooking up scrumptious snack suggestions for any "Idol" viewing party and posting them here in Reality Rocks each week.
So tonight, this season's top 13 will compete together for the first time, with the girls singing Whitney Houston and the boys singing Stevie Wonder. "I was going to do traditional soul food since we're talking about some of the greatest soul/R&B singers, but I wanted to try something a little different, so I made my own version of soul food," explains Sarah. "This week's recipes are MY soul/comfort food. Rich and delicious!"
Rotisserie Mac and Cheese
Yields 10-12 Ramekins
▪ 16oz elbow macaroni
▪ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪ 1/2 yellow onion, diced (around 3/4 cup)
▪ 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
▪ 1 garlic clove, minced
▪ 8oz package sliced baby bella mushrooms
▪ salt and pepper
▪ 2 tbsp butter
▪ 2 tbsp flour
▪ 2 cups 2% milk, heated
▪ 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
▪ 1/4 tsp nutmeg
▪ 8oz white sharp cheddar, shredded
▪ 2 tbsp chopped parsley, divided
▪ 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, shredded, skin removed
▪ 1 cup panko bread crumbs
▪ 2 tbsp butter, melted
▪ 1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪ 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and bell pepper until tender. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, around 30 seconds. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until tender and the excess liquid has evaporated. Season accordingly. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe clean.
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is nice and smooth. Add the cayenne and nutmeg and simmer until the béchamel has slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
Add 1 tbsp of the parsley, chicken, and pasta. Stir until well-combined. In a small bowl, combine the panko, remaining tablespoon of parsley, butter, salt, and pepper.
Pour the macaroni into the ramekins and top with the panko mixture. Bake in the oven until nice and golden brown, around 25-30 minutes.
Check out Sarah's food and music blogs at http://sarahsmusicalkitchen.com