Recently, the wonderful people at Campbell Canada
invited me to a behind-the-scenes taping of In the Kitch
with Chef Jo Lusted
. To say it was an eye-opening experience is an understatement.
Once in a while I like to fancy myself a food blogger which means I am fairly accustomed to producing food, photographing in stages, and considering angles and lighting while I am trying not to burn whatever is in the pot.
But shooting for television? That's a totally different ball game! Between hair, make-up, cameramen, producers, assistant producers, food stylists and others there were almost 20 people standing around a studio kitchen to make a short television spot featuring a yummy flank steak with a cream sauce made with—of course—Campbell's First Stock Cream Stock.
First and foremost, I laughed on a few occasions about all the stopping and starting and re-shooting and re-angling and re-styling (Chef Jo AND the food!) because that wouldn't last one second in my kitchen. Like most mom food bloggers I'm blogging what I'm feeding my family so I'm lucky if I get two whole minutes to prep, style, and photograph my own creations (usually it's my husband's portion and he's just slightly more patient than the kids — love that man!).
Also, if we were shooting video while I was cooking, the producers would have tons of fun shooshing or editing out the "Mom I'm staaaarrrvvvviiing" or "Mom he's not sharing" or "Mom where's my dance bag" from the background. Truly, I think the In the Kitch crew should come to my house and see what really happens while we're cooking for our families!
While I sat behind monitors and producers debating which hand Chef Jo should use to pour ingredients into the pan I had an opportunity to talk a bit to the people from Campbell Canada about stocks and broths and when you add in cream stock and it can get a tad confusing.
What I learned is that stocks are best used for deglazing, braising, making sauces, and also as basting liquids. Broths are best used as a substitute for water when simmering potatoes, rice or vegetables and also when making homemade soups.
But what about Campbell's First Stock Cream Stock? I learned it can really be used in any cream sauce or as a substitute for cream when cooking those yummy comfort foods.
Which gave me an idea.
I've been trying to come up with a way to make Butternut Squash Cheese-less Mac and Cheese in a kid-friendly way without losing any of the flavour. Many of the ingredients I've seen added to give it a bit of a kick are things my kids could sniff out a mile away and turn their noses up at before I even got it to the table.
I decided to substitute the cream I was planning to use for cream stock and see what happened.
Simply saute your butter and garlic.
Add your cream stock.
Add in your flour, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Whisk until combined.
Blend your sauce and squash together.
Pour back in the pan and simmer.
Toss in cooked pasta and stir until coated then pour into casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Top with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake and enjoy!
My kids didn't even know it wasn't cheese!
1 cup roasted butternut squash (see "how to" below)
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Campbell's First Stock Cream Stock
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt (or other coarse salt) and pepper to taste
1 450g box short pasta (I used rotini)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
How to roast Butternut Squash: Peel and chop squash (carefully!). Place in large casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Toss with olive oil and sea salt and roast for approx. 40-45 minutes in pre-heated 425F oven. If you don't have time to roast a squash, simply pick up pre-packaged ready for the microwave squash (my grocery store keeps them in the same cooler as the pre-packaged salads and refrigerated salad dressings).
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
Add in cream stock and flour and whisk until combined.
Add in mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, whisk until combined.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add squash and cheese sauce (careful it's hot!) to blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Place sauce back in pan, add cooked and drained pasta and stir until coated (Note: you can stop here and just enjoy as is or you can make the crunchy top as follows).
Pour into casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and top with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes until top is brown and sauce is bubbly.
Inspired By Oh She Glows.