Parfait! Jardinière Salad

03bjardinierebzloInto each life a little macaroni salad must fall, why not mix things up and make a macaroni and cheese salad?

Interested? My mom sure was; she clipped the recipe off a box Kraft Mac and Cheese a long time ago and… never made it. If you knew my dad, you’d know why.

Enter me, thumbing through mom’s recipe box and hallooo – this looks interesting!

It is, and wicked tasty, too.

01amaccheesebzloINGREDIENTS
•1 box macaroni and cheese
•1/4 cup butter
•1/2 cup milk
•Red onion, diced
•Green pepper, diced
•Celery. chopped
•Carrots, chopped
•1/4 cup butter
•1/3 cup milk
•1/3 cup Catalina French dressing*
01bmedianochefrenchbzlo•2/3 cup Medianoche mayonnaise
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your favorite hot sauce, to taste
•1/2 tsp sweet paprika
•Black pepper
•Chopped fresh parsley

Make the mac and cheese according to instructions on the box, except, rinse the macaroni before returning to the pan and stirring in the cheese, milk, butter, and Catalina dressing until nicely blended.

02amacmayofrenchbzloSet aside to cool for a bit before stirring in 1/3 cup of the Medianoche mayonnaise (feel free to use plain mayonnaise, or mebbe try some aioli for a garlicky kick)

Put into a bowl and stash in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours or overnight.

When you come back to the salad, you’ll notice it looking a might dry; this is a good thing! It means that the pasta has absorbed the liquid (and the flavor) from the sauce.

03ajardinierebzloNow is a good time to stir in the second 1/3 cup of Medianoche mayonnaise until nicely blended.

Add the veggies, paprika, black pepper, and parsley and toss to mix.

Pass around the pasta salad and watch folk try to figure our why it’s that color and hwy it tastes that good.

04ablenderbzloBy the way…

Catalina dressing is all well and good, but, hows about making your own French dressing; in just a couple of minutes, and with a heckuva lot less sugar than most commercial dressings?

04baddoilbzloINGREDIENTS
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 tsp paprika
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp Colman’s dry mustard
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/4 red onion
•1/3 cup ketchup (I like my ‘sup!)
•1/4 cup red wine vinegar
•1/2 cup canola oil

Place the sugar and seasonings in a blender jar, then add the onion and ketchup.

Note: adding the dry ingredients first helps to work them into the dressing instead of being splashed up against the blender jar.

04cfrenchdressingbzloPour the red wine vinegar over all, then turn the blender on and process until the onion is finely chopped and you have a thick almost dressing.

With the blender running, slowly stream in the canola oil through the hole in the lid until the dressing has absorbed it all and has emulsified.

Voilà, French dressing!

Store in the fridge for a week or so.

This is also pretty tasty over pot roast.

Just sayin’…

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