Judy’s Blueberry French Toast Casserole/ Bread Pudding

For my new granddaughter’s baby naming party, I wanted to make one more spectacular hot brunch item. I’ve made my french toast bread pudding recipe a few times to rave reviews, but there’s something I don’t like about it, and that’s the syrup that’s on the bottom.  It’s too sweet for me, mostly. I found a recipe on Kitchen Treaty called Cinnamon Blueberry Overnight French Toast that I mixed with my own recipe. So I pretty much kept the custard part of my recipe, added a sprinkling of blueberries, and sprinkled the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Most importantly, when I took the masterpiece out of the oven, I drizzled the entire top of it with pure maple syrup.  Oh my gosh, I can’t express how delicious this was.  Everyone who ate it loved it and commented on the absolute perfection of the dish.  My daughter called me to tell me that I need to make one entire casserole for her family because she did not get enough of it and because her husband got none.  This is an outstanding recipe, and what makes it even better is that you can prepare it a few hours ahead, or the night before, as I did, and bake it off the next day.

for the custard:

  • 1 challah (I use Zommick’s 15 oz. challah, which I buy at Stop and Shop
  • 8 extra jumbo eggs
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  to 2 cups of blueberries (optional, but I used them)

for the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

essential ingredient for serving:

about 4-6 oz. pure maple syrup- medium grade

Directions:

1.  Cut the challah into slices about 1 inch thick.  Then cut the slices into pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches big.  Let them sit out to get a little stale.  If I don’t have the time for that, I put them on a cookie sheet and stick them in a 200 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes (I did this for baby naming party).

2.  Grease sides and bottom of large oval or rectangular 9 by 13 pan with butter.

3.  Place the pieces of challah in so they fit like a puzzle.  If you have to squeeze a few in, that’s fine, but use the entire challah.

4.  Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the challah pieces; you can push some of them down a little into some crevices.

5.  Whisk the eggs, light cream, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla in a mixing bowl. Ladle the custard evenly over the bread.

6.  Refrigerate over night or for a few hours till you are ready to bake.

7.  Before you put into the oven, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top, using all of it.

8.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min. until top is puffed (even the center) and a toothpick comes out clean.

9.  Take out of the oven, and immediately drizzle the maple syrup all over the  top of the casserole.

10.  Serve immediately!

Back to Basics Macaroni and Cheese

When my children were little, I found a recipe for macaroni and cheese on the back of the Creamettes box.  This was the recipe I made for years and years.  I recently made it again instead of the recipe I’ve made for the last 10 years (Judy’s Creamy and Delicious Macaroni and Cheese), and I discovered that I may like it more because it seems a little less rich.  It’s basically the same as my current recipe except that it has much less cheese.

  • 2 cups elbows (I like Creamettes) (about 1/2 of 1 lb. box)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 10 oz. Land o’Lakes yellow American cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk 

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add flour, salt, and pepper.  Whisk over medium heat for about 2 minutes.  Add milk gradually.  Whisk over medium heat for about 10 minutes till starts to thicken a little, but not too much.  Add in the cheese.

Cook pasta in boiling water till just cooked- not overcooked.  Drain in colander.  Butter a casserole dish.  Pour sauce into casserole.  Pour the macaroni noodles in and mix together till noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.

Cook at 375 degrees for about an hour till the cheese starts to rise to top and brown and the edges start to get brown and crusty looking.

Baked Penne with Marinara, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Miniature Meatballs

I wanted to make a baked pasta dish and add my homemade meatballs, so I came up with this very easy recipe.  I was thrilled when my daughter told me how much she loved the dish.  I decided to omit ricotta cheese from the dish, and I was glad.  I thought it came out perfect without it.

Ingredients:

1 lb. penne or ziti, whole wheat or not

1 lb. or a little more of grated mozzarella (I used Whole Foods part skim)

about 1/2 cup grated parmesan

about 1 qt. marinara sauce (I used jarred)

about 1 teaspoon fresh thyme if you happen to have it

a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes, if you like the heat

for the meatballs:

1 lb. grass fed or organic ground beef, 85% fat

about 1/3 cup ketchup

1 large egg

abut 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or white ones

kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder

make the meatballs:

In a mixing bowl, gently mix the ground beef, ketchup, 1 egg, about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and the bread crumbs.  I use my hands to mix gently.  Then form little meatballs- a little less than 1 inch in diameter.  Put about 2 tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil in nonstick saute pan and heat.  Gently place meatballs in pan and brown only very lightly on all sides.  Pour marinara sauce in a saucepan, and gently place drained meatballs in sauce.  Add the thyme if using as well as red pepper flakes, and simmer covered over low flame about 10 or 15 min.  Turn heat off.

for the assembly:

Cook pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Drain in colander. In 9 by 13 rectangular or oval baking dish, spoon a little sauce in pan to coat bottom.  Put a nice layer of noodles to cover bottom of pan.  Spoon about 1/3 of sauce and meatballs over the noodles.  Sprinkle with parmesan and about 1/3 of grated mozzarella.  Put another 1/3 of noodles on top, 1/3 of sauce and meatballs, parmesan, and 1/3 of mozzarella.  Spread last 1/3 of noodles, the rest of the sauce and meatballs, parmesan, and rest of mozzarella.

Either put in fridge to bake later, or bake right away.  From the fridge, it will take about 1 hour at 375 degrees.  If you are baking it immediately, it might only take 30 minutes for it to get nice and bubbly.

Fried Chicken Nuggets Topped With Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese and Mushrooms

When I was a senior in college, my roommate concocted a chicken recipe that seemed strange, but mysteriously tasted magnificent.  I used to sneak a few bites whenever I could as she wasn’t sharing.  I made this for my daughter a few times over the years- since nobody else in the family except for the two of us liked mushrooms, and she announced that it was her favorite chicken.  Last week, I made it for her and her family, and she loved it.  I dropped off a taste of this dish to a foodie friend of my daughter’s and mine, and she said, “What’s in this?  It’s insanely delicious!”  So here is the recipe.

  • 1  to 1 1/2 cups of organic chicken breast cutlets (not thin sliced), cut into chunks about 1 1/2 in. by the same (I try to use Nature’s Promise from Stop and Shop)
  • bread crumbs (I used a mixture of Wegman’s Whole Grain Bread Crumbs and Trader Joe’s Organic Bread Crumbs)
  • 2 eggs beaten with a little water
  • light olive oil for frying (or a mixture of canola and light olive oil)
  • 10 to 16 oz. mushrooms (I used baby bella) (slice in 1/4 inch thick slices)
  • about 8 of shredded Monterey Jack and Mild Cheddar (I use Whole Foods)

olive oil and a little butter and kosher salt and pepper for sautéing the mushrooms

Put cut chicken in egg mixture and toss well.  Then coat well in bread crumbs.  Heat oil (a depth of about 1/2 in. till very hot (about 350 degrees) in a large frying pan.  Carefully place chicken in hot oil, and cook quickly only till browned on one side, then turn with tongs, and brown on other side.  Keep in mind that you will be baking the chicken in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, so don’t overcook it at this stage.  Cook it only till browned on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.  Place chicken in a 8 1/2 in. by 11 in. baking dish.   In sauté pan, pour a little olive oil with a little butter.  Slice and saute mushrooms (sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper- optional cayenne- till they no longer have that raw look to them.  They don’t need to be overly browned.

Place mushrooms over chicken and the grated cheese to cover the mushrooms.

You can bake in a preheated 375 degree oven right away for about 10 min. till cheese is melted or you can refrigerate this casserole until dinner time.  Then preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake uncovered till cheese is melted and starting to bubble – about 15-20 minutes.  If you are cooking the chicken right from the fridge, it may take a few minutes longer.  I recommend taking it out of the fridge- if you are preparing it earlier in the day- about 30 min. before you intend to start baking it.

Shepherd’s Pie

These days most of my desire to cook revolves around cooking for my daughter and her family, and for my sons Danny and Benji.  My daughter had gone to Whole Foods and she and her family had eaten the shepherd’s pie from the hot food bar.  She told me it was the best thing she’d ever eaten and that I had to make it for her family.  I found a recipe on the Food Network site which looked pretty good.  I made it last week, and everybody loved it, but my daughter said it still wasn’t quite as good as Whole Food’s.  So I made it again this week, and basically added a  little more seasoning.  This time, my daughter said it  was just as good as Whole Food’s version. And my son Danny went totally crazy for it.  Yesterday, watching my two grandsons eating this and loving it was so gratifying.  I was “kvelling” from their reaction!

adapted from Food Network “Mummy Boome’s Traditional Shepherd Pie”

meat filling:

  • 2 3/4 lb. 85% chopped meat (I used Nature’s Promise or Whole Food’s grass fed beef)
  • 5 organic carrots, small dice
  • 3 organic celery stalks, small dice
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • almost all of a small can of organic tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup organic beef broth or stock
  • 3 tablespoons organic worcesteshire  sauce (Annie’s)
  • 2-3 cups organic frozen peas

mashed potatoes topping:

  • 5 lbs. organic russet, idaho, or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 sticks organic salted butter
  • about 1/2 cup  organic whole milk
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pour a few tablespoons of  organic olive oil (you can find organic extra virgin olive oil at Costco) in large sauté pan.  Add salt and pepper.  Sauté  onion, carrot, celery till soft and just starting to brown.  Add garlic, and sauté a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix in.  Add the meat, salt and pepper, and break up with fork as you brown. Add the worcesteshire sauce and the beef broth.  Mix and add the peas.  Taste for seasoning. Transfer meat mixture to large baking dish- at least a 9 x 13 (I have one which is a little larger). Refrigerate.

Make your mashed potatoes.  I peel 5 lbs. and cut them into medium pieces, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil over medium heat until soft.  Drain in colander and then put back in pot over low flame for a minute to get rid of excess water in potatoes.  Turn flame off.  Add butter, kosher salt, and a little fresh cracked pepper.  Mash, and start adding the whole milk until nice and fluffy.

Spoon the potatoes over the top of the meat.  You should have a hefty amount of potatoes topping the meat.  Refrigerate until dinner time.  Then preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 35-45 min. until hot.

Note:  If you are not baking this right away, and you don’t have time to make the mashed potatoes right away, refrigerate the meat mixture  until you have your mashed potatoes.  I have refrigerated this for up to a day before I made the potatoes.  When I make the potatoes, I let them cool to warm and then I put them on top of the meat (which is cold from being in the fridge).  Then I put the dish back in the fridge till I’m ready to bake it. If you are baking it right away, then just it won’t matter if the potatoes are still hot when you put them on the meat.

Roasted Vegetable Parmesan

I am always looking for great vegetable main courses to cook for my daughter, her husband, and my grandson.  I was talking to a  lovely coworker of mine, Cheryl, who loves to cook, and she gave me this recipe that she makes for her family. I tried it today, and brought it over to my daughter’s house, and everybody loved it.  My 2 year old grandson Noah said, “Mommy, I do like tomatoes!”  when he tasted the dish.  My daughter really liked it too- I think she ate at least half of the entire gratin. The dish tastes delicious, yet it’s pretty healthy, which works out perfectly. 

  • 1 largish eggplant
  • 10 oz. white or baby bella mushrooms (I used white), washed and sliced 1/4 in.
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, sliced 1/4 in.
  • 5 plum tomatoes, sliced in 1/4 in.
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • kosher salt, black pepper, dried oregano, olive oil
  • about 8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese, whole milk or part skim
  • about 1/3 cup coarsely grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • about 1 cup of marinara sauce- good jarred is fine

On a half sheet pan, drizzle a little olive oil to grease.  Place eggplant slices and zucchini slices in one layer.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place in oven for about 15 min.  Put under the broiler at the end to brown a little more.  If you have a second sheet pan, you can do the other veggies at the same time.  Drizzle a little oil on bottom of pan.  Place mushrooms in one layer on half of the pan.  Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, a light sprinkling of salt, pepper, the bread crumbs, and then drizzle with olive oil.  On the other half of the sheet pan, put the slices of tomatoes in one layer.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil lightly.  I found that even after these cooked for about 10 min, they weren’t brown enough, so I turned the heat to 450 to get the mushroom browning and the tomatoes roasting the way I like- probably for 10 or so more minutes. 

In a 9 by 13 or oval baking dish, pour about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish to coat.  Place the eggplant and zucchini slices on bottom, then put the roasted tomatoes, and then the mushrooms evenly on top of the eggplant and zucchini, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, then sprinkle about half of the mozzarella over all, then the romano cheese, then spoon about 3/4 cup more of marinara sauce over- it won’t totally cover, then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese over all.

You can cover and refrigerate this until you are ready to bake it.  Then preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake uncovered for about 30 min – 40 min, till bubbly around edges and cheese is melted.  Then put under the broiler for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese starts to brown.  Serve.

Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

This summer my daughter Randi reserves Thursdays to spend with me.  Yesterday was magnificent for me.  Randi and Noah (her 2 year old) came over in the morning.  We went to Holmdel Park with my son Danny, too.  Noah loved looking at and petting the sheep and then throwing stones in the pond.  Then I went home to cook, and Randi took Noah home for a nap.  Before Randi left, we decided on what I would make for dinner, I ran to the market, prepared this dish, then went back to Randi’s house with the food.  We went to the swim club for a great time with Randi’s friend Jessica and her beautiful daughter Maya.  I had the best time in the baby pool with them.  Noah had his first experience floating with a tube.  Then we went back to Randi’s house where I served this really yummy dish (I heated it up in the microwave).  I got the idea for this dish from watching an episode of “The Barefoot Contessa” where Ina Garten makes an eggplant gratin.  I changed a few things in her recipe, and I added zucchini, which really worked out well.  This recipe got the seal of approval from Randi, Noah, and Dan (my son-in-law), so I think I’ll be making this again.

  • 2 medium eggplant or 1 very large (I did not peel, but you may)
  • 1 very large zucchini or 2 medium-largish (I used 2)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta (I used whole milk, but you can use part skim)
  • 1/3 cup light cream or half and half, whatever you may  have around (I used light cream)
  • 1 large or extra large egg
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • about 10-11 oz. of  freshly ground in processor parmesan (I used Bel Gioioso), measure 1/3 cup, and reserve the remainder
  • about 15 oz. of homemade or jarred marinara sauce- that’s a little more than a half of a 26 oz. jar of sauce (I used Via Roma Marinara from the A&P)
  • light olive oil for cooking the eggplant and zucchini 
  • crushed red pepper flakes for serving, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Make custard.  In medium mixing bowl, mix cream, 1/3 cup parmesan, ricotta, egg, salt, pepper; set aside.

Slice washed eggplant and zucchini about 1/4 inch thick.  Heat a very large frying pan (I have a huge cast iron skillet that I used; otherwise, I would have used a very large nonstick pan.)  After pan is really hot, pour a very small amount of oil in pan, basically just to coat the pan.  Drop eggplant and zucchini slices in, brown quickly and then flip, and brown again.  Place on paper towels to drain.  Repeat with remaining eggplant and zucchini – or alternately, use a grill pan (I have one that fits over 2 burners, it’s really big- it’s a griddle on the reverse side).  Just brush both sides of eggplant and zucchini with light olive oil, and grill till nice grill marks form, then flip, and cook on other side.  There is no need to drain on paper towels, because veggies are not very greasy when grilled.  This method uses much less oil, and it probably produces a healthier dish with many less calories.  I used this method the second time I made the dish and I loved making the veggies this way, and I will do this in the future.  In a large oval baking dish- equivalent to a 9 by 13 in baking dish, put a layer of eggplant and zucchini, filling up as many spaces as possible, but in one layer.  You can cut the slices of zucchini to fill in all the spaces.   Then sprinkle generously with the 1/3 cup of grated parmesan.  Spoon all of the 15 oz. of marinara sauce evenly over veggies.  Then place another layer of the eggplant and zucchini over, using up all.  Sprinkle lightly with a bit of the reserved parmesan.  Spoon all of the custard evenly over, then sprinkle remaining parmesan evenly on top. 

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 min.  Then change oven setting to low broil.  Place casserole in middle of oven, not too close to heat element.  Watch carefully and take out when top looks browned, but not burned.  Serve.

Note:  Use the smallest amount of oil if you are frying the veggies, because the more oil you use, the more will be absorbed by the vegetables, especially the eggplant.

Greek Beans with Tomatoes, Celery, And Carrots

After my daughter Randi and her husband came back from their vacation in Greece,  I bacame inspired to find some Greek dishes to make for them.  I came up with this recipe, and Randi and Dan really like it.  It is healthy, tasty, and economical.

  • 1 lb. bag of dried cannelini beans (or fasolia gigantes or similar large dried white beans)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin, regular, or light olive oil
  • 2-3 onions, about 11 oz, chopped (rough chop)
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped medium
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspooon dried oregano or thyme, or mixture of both (I used fresh thyme leaves, about 1 tablespoon, and dried oregano)
  • 1 28 oz. canned plum tomatoes (do not use juice), rough chop
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 8 oz. water
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp, but that made the end result a little hot)

1.  Place the beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water, then let soak overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day, drain the beans, then rinse them under cold water in a collander, and drain.
2.  Pour the beans into a large saucepan, pour plenty of cold water to cover, then bring to a boil.  Cover the pan, and cook the beans at a simmer until they are almost tender, about 50-60 minute.  Giantes will cook more quickly, so keep testing them after they have been cooking for 30 to 40 minutes.  The beans should be soft, but not disintegrating through overcooking.  If the beans are starting to break in half, they are totally cooked.
3.  While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil a clean saute pan ( I didn’t use a nonstick pan for this), add the chopped onions, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste,  and saute until light golden.  Add the celery, carrots, garlic, herbs, and stir with a wooden spoon until the garlic becomes aromatic and the vegetables are softish.  Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  (covering is not essential)  Pour in the diluted tomato paste with water, then return the cooked drained beans to the vegetable mixture, add the sugar the parsley, and any additional salt and pepper.  Mix gently.  Pour into a large 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees and serve.
If you want the dish to have more sauce, bake it covered in the oven.  If you would like the liquid to evaporate more so that the surface of the beans and vegetables become a little candied, then bake it uncovered.  If you are baking the dish uncovered, check the beans once or twice during the 30 minutes, and add more hot water if the beans look dry.
Note:
You can make the vegetable mixture while the beans are soaking, and refigerate until after you cook the beans.
You can probably substitute cooked beans, but you may lose a little of the texture or the authentic taste of the dish.

Roasted Veggie Casserole

Last night, I tried a new recipe, which really is just a variation on roasted vegetables. I put some of my daughter’s favorite vegetables in this, knowing you just can’t go wrong with roasting vegetables.  I  brought it to my daughter Randi’s for a dinner side dish, and she and her husband loved it, as did I.  If fact Randi liked it so much, she ate it for her main course.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (I used half extra virgin and half light, but any type is fine)
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into slightly larger than bite size wedges, skin on
  • 3 large red bell peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or 4 plum tomatoes cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red papper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oval or rectangular 9 by 13 casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the potatoes, peppers, tomatoes in dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Drizzle remaining oil over, and toss with your hands to coat well with the oil to coat. Bake for about 45 minutes. Then take out of oven, and add olives, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. Mix gently. Bake another 45-60 minutes. The longer you cook the vegetables, the more caramelized they will become, but the more they will shrink. So the longer you cook this, the smaller the yield. So if you don’t mind the vegetables not being really caramelized, reduce your cooking time.

Easiest Baked Ziti

This is a recipe that is so easy to make and is just delicious.  Everyone loves it, kids and adults.  If you are having people over for dinner, for a party, or even a barbecue, the addition of this dish will always be appreciated!  

  • 1 pound of ziti or penne pasta
  • 1 pound of grated mozzarella cheese, part-skim or whole milk
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 14-16 oz. ricotta cheese, part-skim or whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • about 40 oz. of marinara sauce, either jarred or homemade marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Start boiling pasta in large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions for al dente; drain pasta.  While you are cooking the pasta, mix ricotta cheese in a bowl the egg, some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste, and oregano (optional).  Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 oval or rectangular baking dish.  Spread about 1/3 of noodles on top.  With you clean hands, drop dollops of ricotta mixture over noodles (to use about 1/3 of ricotta).  Sprinkle about 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over, and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan or Romano cheese.  Then with a large spoon, drizzle marinara sauce over, to use about 1/3 of the remaining sauce.  Repeat with 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of ricotta, 1/3 of mozzarella, a little Parmesan or Romano, 1/3 of sauce.  Repeat with last 1/3 of noodles, last 1/3 of ricotta, remaining sauce, and then top off with remaining mozzarella.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.  When starting to be bubbly around the edges, uncover dish, and place under broiler – at  least 8 inches from broiler element.  Watch carefully so as not to burn, but you are looking for the cheese to be browned nicely all over the top.  Serve immediately.   

Note: You can make this up to 2 days  in advance up  and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.  You will need to add about 1/2  to the cooking time if you are baking right out of the fridge.