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White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese

White truffle macaroni and cheese

We spent the holidays in Hawaii with my family.

After two weeks, I think we must have acclimated to the 80 degree weather. By the time we arrived back in Portland after New Year’s, the temperature in the Northwest had dropped dramatically to the low 30s – and it was really difficult to get used to the change.

All I’ve wanted since we’ve returned is comfort food: quesadillas, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and macaroni and cheese. Notice a trend here? Thank god I’m not lactose intolerant.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

I justified my mac and cheese craving by making it from scratch and adding white truffle oil to make it a bit more sophisticated. And wow, we devoured this dish quickly. The truffle oil adds a really earthy, rich flavor to the already drool-worthy cheesy goodness. Truffle oil can be expensive, but a little goes a long way. And it’s totally worth the splurge.

White truffle macaroni and cheese

In addition to the truffle oil, I love the caramelized breadcrumb crust. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat crustless mac and cheese again.

This one-pot-dish was adopted from a Ninja Cooking Systems Slow Cooker recipe, but you can adapt it to your own slow cooker (or for the stovetop!) easily.

White truffle macaroni and cheese
White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 8

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4 cups water
1 pound uncooked noodles (macaroni or other)
¾ cup butter
6 T all-purpose flour
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
6¾ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray
1½ cups bread crumbs
2 T truffle oil

Pour water into pot. Set to STOVETOP HIGH. Heat uncovered to a boil. Stir in macaroni. Cook uncovered 9 minutes or until macaroni is just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove macaroni from pot and drain well in colander, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Add ½ cup butter to pot. Set to STOVETOP MED and heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook uncovered 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in 6 cups Cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, and pepper until cheeses are melted, stirring occasionally. Turn off pot and add truffle oil. Stir cheese mixture, macaroni, and reserved cooking water in large bowl. Wipe pot clean. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter. Stir melted butter, bread crumbs, ¾ cup Cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup Pecorino Romano in bowl. Spray pot with cooking spray. Press bread crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of pot. Pour in macaroni mixture. Set OVEN to 350°F for 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Cook until golden brown on bottom and sides and invert onto plate.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/


Shoyu Chicken (+ a Ninja Cooking System GIVEAWAY! [now closed])

There are sooo many delicious things to eat in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken

One of my favorites is Shoyu Chicken. And today I’m excited to share my family’s recipe with you. In my opinion, it’s one of the best around.

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken in Ninja Cooking Systems

Growing up, we always made Shoyu Chicken on the stovetop. But I recently make it in my brand new Ninja Cooking System, and was so pleased with the results. 

What’s awesome about the Ninja Cooking System is that in addition to slow cooker settings, it also has stovetop settings so you can braise meat, sear onions – or in this case, boil the marinade – before doing the slow cooking. It seems so obvious, but does your slow cooker do that? I dont think so.

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken
Even Sam noticed a difference when I made this recipe in the Ninja. It was extra tender and flavorful. I served the chicken with my healthier version of Hawaiian mac salad, brown rice and spicy kimchi for a little taste of home.

So now to the good news: you can make melt-in-your-mouth Shoyu Chicken – plus a ton of other fantastic things – in a Ninja Cooking System of your own! Enter the giveaway below, just in time for the holidays.

**Ninja Cooking System Giveaway!** 

Comment below with your favorite slow cooker recipe. Your comment qualifies as an entry. Bonus entries for liking Margaritas In The Rain on Facebook and following me on Twitter (or let me know if you already have). I’ll draw a winner using random.org at 12pm ET on 11/20/12. Winner will be contacted using the email provided in the comments section. Good luck!

Note: Ninja Cooking Systems provided the Slow Cookers, but I was not compensated for this post. The views are my own. This slow cooker is really cool, you guys.

Congrats to our winner, Natalie G. of Portland!

Shoyu Chicken

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1 cup water
1 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1 cup sugar
1 T sesame seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper
8-10 slices of ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 pounds (approx. 8 pieces) skinless chicken thighs

Cook all ingredients on High until boiling, continuing to mix until sugar disolves. Reduce to Low on Ninja Cooking System and let cook for up to 8 hours (the longer the better for flavor!). Or, if making on a stovetop, simply simmer on low for 1 hour.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/